Total cord IgM measurements and an indirect γM-Fluorescent treponemal antibody (γM-FTA) test were performed on the cord sera of 43 seroreactive neonates to determine the reliability of each in diagnosing congenital syphilis. Thirty-three infants who did not have active disease had either a negative or minimally reactive (five cases) γM-FTA test. Four with definite and five with suspected active disease gave 3 to 4+ reactions. One infant who was suspected to have active disease was FTA negative. By titering the 3 to 4+ reactive sera, it was shown that this FTA test can detect considerably less than 1 mg/100 cc of antitreponemal IgM antibody. Total cord IgM levels were not reliably elevated in active cases. These results suggest that the γM-FTA test may prove to be an accurate additional way to diagnose congenital syphilis in the neonatal period even if the infant is asymptomatic.
Mamunes P, Cave VG, Budell JW, Andersen JA, Steward RE. Early Diagnosis of Neonatal SyphilisEvaluation of a Gamma M-Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody Test. Am J Dis Child. 1970;120(1):17–21. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100060051005