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Colles' law

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A child born to a mother who has no signs of venereal symptoms, and presents with this disease at the age of a few weeks, will infect the healthiest nursemaid, but not its mother. The observation had been made earlier by Simon de Vellembert in 1565. This law from the time before the discovery of Spirochaeta pallida is based upon clinical observations. His conclusion was wrong, however, as Colles was ignorant of the fact that the mother already had the disease.


  • A. Colles:
    Practical observations on the venereal disease, and on the use of mercury.
    London, Sherwood, Gilbert & Piper, 1837. Page 304.
Prosper Baumès:
Précis théorique et pratique sur les maladies véneriennes.
2 volumes. Paris, J.-B. Baillièrre, and Lyon, 1840.

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