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).
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