C. F. M.
Since the introduction of the Wassermann test in 1906, opinion as to the specificity of serologic tests for syphilis, if reports in the literature reflect the general impressions of the times, has passed through three distinct phases. From 1906 to 1918, many organic diseases, as well as pregnancy, menstruation, and the effect of various drugs, were reported to cause false positive Wassermann tests. In the period 1918 to 1928, these false positive tests were thought to be due to faulty technic or the associated presence of symptomless syphilis, and serologic tests for syphilis were regarded as amazingly specific.
M. CF. BIOLOGIC FALSE POSITIVE SEROLOGIC TESTS FOR SYPHILIS. Ann Intern Med. ;14:171–173. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-14-1-171
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1940;14(1):171-173.
Infectious Disease, Sexually Transmitted Infections.
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