On the Contagiousness of Secondary Syphilis
Boston Medical and Surgical Journal
Medical men have long been divided in opinion upon the contagiousness and non-contagiousness of secondary syphilis. Clinical facts and experimental researches not a few have convinced the majority of the contagiousness of this affection ; but these facts and researches have failed to carry conviction to the minds of a large party, of which Ricord is the leader. Of this party the dogma was that no syphilitic affection was contagious unless it was inoculable, and that secondary syphilis was not
... syphilis was not contagious because it was not inoculable. It is but just to M. Ricord, however, to state that he is not entirely responsible for the most positive rendering of this dogma, and that he himself always maintained a cautious reserve upon the subject. What he held was that the primary chancre was alone inoculable in a person already suffering from syphilis. It is to be remembered, also, that in experimenting upon the contagiousness of secondary syphilis he had never ventured to inoculate healthy individuals, and that he never distinctly asserted that inoculation would give negative results in such cases. Be this as it may, however, M. Ricord has abandoned his doctrine as to the non-contagiousness of constitutional syphilis, and the change in his opinion has been thus brought about.