Summary: This paper describes an evaluation of a commercial Treponema pallidum haemagglutination (TPHA) test kit now available in Australia.
4,113 sera submitted for syphilis serology were screened routinely with the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) test. TPHA and fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption (FTA-ABS) tests were performed in parallel on all sera reactive by the VDRL test and also on non-reactive sera from patients with a history suggestive of syphilis. Almost identical results were obtained by these two tests. The clinical stage of the disease and prior chemotherapy did not appear to alter the degree of reactivity of the TPHA test.
These results confirm that the TPHA kit test is as sensitive and specific as the FTA-ABS test. Furthermore, it is simple to perform, it can be readily automated and, therefore, may be potentially useful as a screening test for treponemal antibodies.
(C) 1973 Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia