The microhaemagglutination assay for Treponema pallidum antibodies (MHA:TP-CSF), the Veneral Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL-CSF), and the fluorescent treponemal antibody (FTA-CSF) tests were used to detect treponemal antibodies in 3157 samples of cerebrospinal fluid from patients with syphilis, with neurological, metabolic, or immunological disorders, and with undetermined diagnoses. An agreement of 99.5% between the results of the MHA:TP-CSF and FTA-CSF tests was obtained for all the CSF samples whereas that of only 95.5% was obtained for samples from the known case of syphilis. The MHA:TP-CSF test is simple, economical, rapid, and specific but not as sensitive as the FTA-CSF test.
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