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Molecular typing of Treponema pallidum strains from patients with neurosyphilis in Pretoria, South Africa
  1. Julitha Molepo (molepo{at}medunsa.ac.za)
  1. Department of Microbiological Pathology, Medunsa Campus, University of Limpopo, South Africa
    1. Allan Pillay (apillay{at}cdc.gov)
    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
      1. Bernd Weber (weber{at}anaesthesie.uni-kiel.de)
      1. Department of Microbiological Pathology, Medunsa Campus, University of Limpopo, South Africa
        1. Stephen Morse (smorse{at}cdc.gov)
        1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
          1. Anwar Hoosen (hoosen{at}medunsa.ac.za)
          1. Department of Microbiological Pathology, Medunsa Campus, University of Limpopo, South Africa

            Abstract

            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.

            • CSF
            • Molecular typing
            • Neurosyphilis
            • PCR
            • Treponema pallidum

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