Two Treponema pallidum haemagglutination assay (TPHA) tests (Wellcome and Fuzizoki) were compared with the automated reagin test and the automated Reiter protein complement-fixation test in a routine screening system. The Wellcome TPHA was shown to lack sensitivity, and it is recommended that it should be used at a lower screening dilution. The Fuzizoki TPHA recorded a significant number of false positive and false negative results, and was therefore inferior to the fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption (FTA-ABS) test as a definitive test for syphilis. It is suggested that the TPHA be used in conjunction with a reagin test to replace some of the more inadequate screening tests currently in use. The automated screening tests were shown to have a similar sensitivity to the TPHA as well as several other advantages; they are recommended for testing large numbers of specimens.
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