The automated haemagglutination assay using Treponema pallidum antigen (AMHA-TP) and the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) test were used to examine 330 163 sera. Reactive results were checked by the fluorescent treponemal antibody-absorption (FTA-ABS) test. When isolated reactivity or non-reactivity in the AMHA-TP test was investigated an estimated margin of error of 0.7% probably wrongly non-reactive and 0.008% presumably false non-reactive results were found. These figures were confirmed by randomised FTA-ABS tests on 504 sera with repeat AMHA-TP tests. The latter is therefore still the most reliable and practicable method for mass screening for syphilis.
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