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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2007 Oct;59(2):123-6. Epub 2007 Jun 15.

Evaluation of a rapid strip and a particle agglutination tests for syphilis diagnosis.

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Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Mor. 62508, México.


The availability of new diagnostic approaches, which are easier and faster to perform than conventional tests, offers the opportunity to improve the attention given to public health problems as syphilis. This study aimed to evaluate a rapid immunochromatographic strip test (Determine TP; Abbott Laboratories, Chicago, IL) and a nonequipment demanding particle microagglutination test (Serodia TP-PA; Fujirebio, Japan) for qualitative detection of treponemic antibodies. Sera from 548 women belonging to 3 population groups were tested; one of them showing low syphilis seroprevalence (1.5%) and the other 2 showing higher seroprevalences (>15%). By comparison with the gold standard (Venereal Disease Research Laboratories plus fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption), sensitivity and specificity values for both diagnostic tests were calculated. Sensitivity values of both tests evaluated were higher than 95% for 2 groups of 3 addressed; in one of the high syphilis prevalence groups, Serodia TP-PA showed 88.6% sensitivity. Specificity values were above 95% for all 3 groups. The use of simple/rapid treponemic tests as those included here may prove to be a suitable replacement for the traditional syphilis serology diagnosis approach, particularly at primary care settings.

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