We report the case of a man who tested positive for syphilis following the intravenous administration of human normal immunoglobulin as part of the treatment of Guillain-Barré syndrome. The chronology of the testing suggested the passive acquisition of treponemal antibody. This phenomenon is not widely documented in the medical literature, but is a theoretical risk of treatment, and serves as a reminder to be cautious in the interpretation of such serological tests.
- CSF, cerebrospinal fluid
- EIA, enzyme immunoassay
- GBS, Guillain-Barré syndrome
- HNIG, human normal immunoglobulin
- RPR, rapid plasma reagin
- TPHA, Treponema pallidum haemagglutination assay
- VDRL, Venereal Disease Research Laboratory
- intravenous immunoglobulin
- serological tests
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Competing interests: None declared.
Consent: the patient concerned has given his consent to publication.
Ethical approval: not required.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.