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Malariotherapy was used between 1917-1950 for the treatment of syphilis. In 1917, J.W. von Jauregg began inoculating paretics with blood from patients with benign tertian malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax. The elevated temperature of the body caused by the malaria parasite killed the temperature sensitive Treponema pallidum. Institutions for malariotherapy rapidly proliferated throughout Europe and the technique was also adopted in several centers in the USA. In this way, thousands of syphilitics were saved from a sure and agonizing death (Desowitz, R.S. 1991. The malaria capers. Norton, N. York, pp. 127-130).



Copyright 2007 Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
Last modified: 01/01/07