Diagnosis of Congenital Syphilis by Combining Treponema pallidum-Specific IgM Detection with Immunofluorescent Antigen Detection for T. pallidum

Kenneth Bromberg, Sarah Rawstron, Gaylene Tannis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most infants at risk for congenital syphilis can be identified easily by a positive maternal serologic test for syphilis. However, a diagnosis of congenital syphilis can be difficult to make in an individual infant. Seven infants with delayed-onset congenital syphilis and 101 newborns at risk for congenital syphilis were evaluated for characteristic physical findings and laboratory-detectable abnormalities of congenital syphilis. By using a combination of Western blot for T. pallidum-specific IgM detection and immunofluorescent antigen detection for the identification of T. pallidum, a diagnosis of congenital syphilis was made in all 7 infants with delayed-onset congenital syphilis and 24 of the 101 newborns at risk for congenital syphilis. However, T. pallidum-specific IgM was negative in 6 of the 24 newborns with congenital syphilis. T. pallidum- specific IgM detection alone is inadequate for the diagnosis of congenital syphilis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-242
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume168
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1993
Externally publishedYes

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