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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2003 August;138(4):287-97

language: English, Italian

Serology of syphilis 2003

Alessi E., Scioccati L.

Institute of Dermatological Sciences, University of Milan, IRCCS Maggiore Hospital, Milan, Italy


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Methodological progress and industrial needs spur frequent changes in the commercially available reagents for syphilis serologic tests.Therefore, periodic reviews of this topic seem appropriate. To-day, to ascertain the infection, TPHA test, TPPA test or ELISA IgG+IgM are used in adults and children while ELISA IgM is used in newborn. For the disease activity evaluation and post-treatment follow-up of patients the RPR test with the possible addition of the Western blot IgM test has now replaced the classical VDRL test. In this article, we summarize the characteristics of the above reactions and discuss the criteria to be used in order to choose the most appropriate serological option. We also list the minimum material endowment of a laboratory performing the serologic testing of syphilis and the tests to be used in several common clinical conditions.

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