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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine