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Int J STD AIDS. 2000 May;11(5):288-91.

Enzywell recombinant enzyme immunoassay for the serological diagnosis of syphilis.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Edinburgh University Medical School, UK.


The aim of this study was to evaluate Enzywell TP, a new rapid enzyme immunoassay (EIA) that uses 2 recombinant Treponema pallidum antigens for the serological diagnosis of syphilis. Specificity was evaluated by screening 1055 unselected bloods requesting serological tests for syphilis in parallel with Enzywell TP and the Syphilis ICE EIA which is our standard screening test for syphilis. Sensitivity was evaluated using a panel of 159 known treponemal sera representing various stages of syphilis and 5 treponemal sera detected on screening. The specificity of Enzywell TP on initial and repeat testing (99.6% and 99.7% respectively) was similar to that of the Syphilis ICE test (99.8% and 99.9% respectively). The sensitivity of Enzywell TP (100%) was similar to that of Syphilis ICE (99.4%): both tests were significantly more sensitive (P=0.01) than the fluorescent antibody absorbed test (94.5%) but not the T. pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA) assay (99.4%). Both Enzywell TP and Syphilis ICE were positive with sera from 16 known HIV-infected patients who had been treated for syphilis many years previously (mean 9.4 years) confirming the value of these tests in excluding previous syphilis in HIV-infected individuals. We conclude that the Enzywell recombinant EIA is simple, rapid, highly sensitive and specific, and is a welcome addition to the range of currently available diagnostic tests for syphilis.

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