Hemagglutination tests for syphilis antibody

H. W. Jaffe, S. A. Larsen, O. G. Jones, P. E. Dans

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In a study of serodiagnosis of syphillis, the authors compared the specificities and sensitivities of two hemagglutination tests, a sheep-erythrocyte test (MHA-TP) and a turkey-erythrocyte test (TPHA), with those of the Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody-Absorption (FTA-ABS) test. In tests of sera from 935 patients without syphilis, the MHA-TP, TPHA, and FTA-ABS tests were reactive for 0.96, 0, and 1.3%, respectively. The false-positive results were usually transients and not associated with underlying illness. For the 68 patients with syphilis, the MHA-TP test was as sensitive as the FTA-ABS test in all stages except untreated primary disease. The TPHA test appeared to be undersensitive, and testing of follow-up sera from persons with latent syphilis showed unexplained conversion of false-negative TPHA results to reactive results. Reproducibilities of the two hemagglutination tests were comparable. The MHA-TP test is a valuable confirmatory test for syphilis. Further study is needed before the use of the TPHA test can be recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-233
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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    Jaffe, H. W., Larsen, S. A., Jones, O. G., & Dans, P. E. (1978). Hemagglutination tests for syphilis antibody. American journal of clinical pathology, 70(2), 230-233. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcp/70.2.230