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Syphilis test

For many years, as a measure to prevent the spread of syphilis, states in the United States required a Wassermann test of the bride and groom prior to marriage, and the term became synonymous with syphilis testing.

The Wassermann test was an early serological test for syphilis, based on complement fixation, developed by Augustus Paul von Wassermann in 1906. It tests for specific antibodies.

In the 1930s the Hinton test, developed by William Augustus Hinton, and based on flocculation, was shown to have fewer false positive reactions than the Wasserman.

Subsequent syphilis tests, such as the Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) and Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) test, and others based on monoclonal antibodies and immunofluorescence, are used in place of the Wassermann and Hinton tests today.