The problem of the proper evaluation of reactions in tests for syphilis has been steadily increasing. This increase, in part, is a result of the decrease in detectable clinical syphilis and the relative or real increase in so-called biologic false-positive reactions or BFPs. The Treponema Pallidum Immobilization test or TPI test of Nelson1 satisfied the need for a test which could distinguish, with a high degree of success, between true syphilitic and false-positive serologic tests for syphilis. The TPI test, however, is not readily available, is expensive and cannot be accomplished by other than highly-trained personnel. We were interested in a test which would give us the same information as the TPI test but for which all the reagents necessary for testing could be purchased at a reasonable price, and which could be performed by other than highly trained laboratory technicians.
The results of the FTA test in a
OLANSKY S, McCORMICK GE, Mahaley J. Experiences with the Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody Test for Syphilis (FTA Test). AMA Arch Derm. 1960;81(1):59–65. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.03730010063007
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