Article Text

PDF

Enzyme immunoassay for anti-treponemal IgG: screening or confirmatory test?
  1. H Young,
  2. A Moyes,
  3. A McMillan,
  4. J Patterson
  1. Department of Medical Microbiology, University Medical School, Edinburgh.

    Abstract

    AIMS: To review the performance of the Venereal Diseases Research Laboratory (VDRL) test and the Treponema pallidum haemagglutination assay (TPHA) as a combined screen for syphilis to provide a baseline for assessing screening by anti-treponemal IGG EIA. METHODS: Between 1980 and 1987 all serum samples were screened by both VDRL and TPHA tests. The FTA-ABS test was also used in suspected early primary syphilis, or when one of the other tests was positive. A positive result in a screening test was confirmed by quantitative testing. From 1988 all specimens were screened with an enzyme immunoassay (Captia Syph G) as a single screening test. RESULTS: Of the 44 primary, 47 secondary, and 38 early latent cases of syphilis, the VDRL and TPHA detected 32 (73%) and 31 (71%) of the primary cases; the combination detected 37 (84%). All 85 cases of cases of secondary and early latent infection were reactive in the TPHA test, whereas the VDRL was reactive in only 68 (80%). EIA had a reported sensitivity of 82% for primary infection. CONCLUSIONS: EIA can be used as a single screening test for detecting early syphilis because its results are comparable with those of the combined VDRL and TPHA tests. The conventional VDRL test should not be used as a single screening test.

    Statistics from Altmetric.com

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.