“Mr Hunter’s singular opinions”: Early and Experimental Syphilis

  • J. David Oriel


Between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries the study of venereal diseases made only slow progress. The main clinical features of primary and secondary syphilis had been recognised, although estimates of its incubation period, and of the temporal relationship between its various stages, were very inexact. Extragenital infection, for example of the mouth, was recognised. By the beginning of the eighteenth century some of the features of late syphilis had also been described — lesions of the skin and bones, for instance — but nothing was yet known about cardiovascular or neurosyphilis, and very little about visceral involvement.


Eighteenth Century Venereal Disease Congenital Syphilis Secondary Syphilis Early Syphilis 
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Recommended Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. David Oriel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity College and Middlesex School of MedicineLondonUK

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