Objective: To evaluate the molecular typing system for Treponema pallidum using cerebrospinal fluid specimens obtained from neurosyphilis patients in Pretoria, South Africa.
Methods: CSF specimens were collected from 32 men and 18 women with suspected late neurosyphilis. Typing of T. pallidum involved PCR amplification and restriction analysis of the tpr E, G, and J genes and determination of the number of 60-bp tandem repeats within the arp gene by PCR amplification.
Results: Of 13 typeable specimens, 4 strain types were identified: 2i, 3e, 14a, and 17e. Subtype 14a was identified in 7 specimens (53.8%) whilst 4 specimens (30.7%) were subtype 3e, and 1 specimen (7.6%) each had subtype 17e and 2i.
Conclusions: This study shows that the typing system can be applied to specimens which may contain low numbers of spirochetes such as cerebrospinal fluid.
- Molecular typing
- Treponema pallidum
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