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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2006 Dec;12(12):1233-6.

Specific and sensitive diagnosis of syphilis using a real-time PCR for Treponema pallidum.

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Amsterdam Municipal Health Laboratory and Department of Infectious Diseases, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


A real-time PCR assay with a Taqman probe was developed that targeted the polA gene of Treponema pallidum. The test was validated using an analytical panel (n = 140) and a clinical panel of genital samples (n = 112) from patients attending a sexually transmitted infections clinic. High sensitivities and specificities of 94-100% were achieved using two real-time PCR platforms, the Rotor-Gene and the iCycler. The assay can be completed within 2 h, enabling reporting in <8 h. This fast and robust assay is suitable for implementation in routine laboratories for diagnosing primary syphilis.

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