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December 1968

Treponemal-Like Organisms in the Aqueous of Nonsyphilitic Patients: An Immunologic Study

Author Affiliations

Iowa City
From the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Iowa Hospitals (Drs. Golden and Watzke), the School of Medicine (Dr. McKee), and the State Hygienic Laboratory (Mrs. Lindell), University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1968;80(6):727-731. doi:10.1001/archopht.1968.00980050729010

Fifty-five specimens of the aqueous humor of 47 patients were taken at the time of cataract surgery. Examination was made for motile treponemes, and specific fluorescent antibody and immunologic studies were done on the aqueous humor and serum. Motile treponemes were seen, but proven not to be Treponema pallidum in two eyes. No definite spirochete for ocular syphilis was found in this series. Immunoelectrophoresis studies of the aqueous humor showed only an albumin band. It is concluded that the patients studied who were clinically free of syphilis with serum negative for FTA-ABS antibodies do not have T pallidum in the aqueous humor. A control group is thus furnished which tends to substantiate the validity of previous investigations in this field.

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