[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 1914


Author Affiliations
From the Department of Genito-Urinary Surgery of the Philadelphia Poly-clinic Hospital and the William Pepper Clinical Laboratory of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1914;XIII(1):143-158. doi:10.1001/archinte.1914.00070070148008

In recognition of the recent admirable work by Schwartz and McNeil on the complement-fixation test in gonococcic infections, the fact must not be overlooked that Müller and Oppenheim, in 1906, were the first to apply this reaction to a gonorrheal affection and consequently are entitled to the distinction of being termed the originators. The present popularity of this test has been the outgrowth of the suggestion made by Schwartz and McNeil — namely, that of the employment of a polyvalent antigen. As a result of their labors, these workers contend, and seem to have proved conclusively, through animal experimentation: (1) "that the different strains of the gonococcus differ markedly one from another — so much so that the antibodies produced in the body by the toxin of one strain will in many instances not bind the complement in the presence of an antigen prepared from another strain. Therefore, if

If it be necessary or desirable to practice economy in the performance of the test, we would suggest, in preference to the very small quantities employea by Schwartz and McNeil, which are more or less tedious to manipulate, just half of the component materials as employed in our technic. We have resorted to this modification on several occasions with results just as satisfactory as those obtained by the regular method.
In the near future we shall report the results of our studies of various gonococcal antigens, variously extracted; also the results comparatively of nonspecific antigens prepared from certain Gram-negative and Gram-positive diplococci, as the Micrococcus catarrhalis, the meningococcus, the pneumococcus, the Streptococcus pyogenes, etc.
We are indebted to Dr. A. P. Hitchens of H. K. Mulford Co. for the six strains of gonococci employed in this work. It should be noted in this connection that it is assumed that the cultures are true gonococci, since their staining and morphological characteristics are identical with that micro-organism, although they grow readily on blood-serum or even on plain agar-agar. The dispute has arisen as to whether a Gram-negative diplococcus, growing in this wise, should or should not be designated as the Micrococcus catarrhalis.
Schwartz and McNeil: " The Complement-Fixation Test in the Diagnosis of Gonococcic Infections ,"  Am. Jour. Med. Sc. , (May) , 1911
" The Complement-Fixation Test in the Differential Diagnosis of Acute and Chronic Gonococcic Arthritis ," Schwartz Am. Jour. Med. Sc. , (September) , 1912
" Further Experiences with the Complement-Fixation Test in the Diagnosis of Gonococcus Infections of the Genito-Urinary Tract in the Male and Female ," Schwartz Am. Jour. Med. Sc. , (December) , 1912.
Torrey:  Jour. Med. Research , 1910, No. (1) .