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Quantitative microhaemagglutination assay for Treponema pallidum antibodies in experimental syphilis.
  1. R R Tight,
  2. A C White


    The quantitative microhaemagglutination assay for Treponema pallidum antibodies (MHA-TP) was studies in 52 untreated and treated rabbits with experimental syphilis. Rabbits with incubating experimental syphilis were cured or inadequately treated with penicillin G and some cured rabbits were later reinfected. MHA-TP conversion occurred within 45 days in untreated rabbits. Titres reached peak levels about four months after inoculation and remained relatively high for up to two years. The quantitative MHA-TP test differentiated between rabbits cured of experimental incubating syphilis and those untreated and inadequately treated. MHA-TP titres decreased after treatment given six or 12 months after inoculation but reversion did not occur. MHA-TP conversion or significant increases in titre occurred as soon as seven days after reinfection and preceded corresponding changes in a quantitative non-treponemal test. The MHA-TP is useful as a screening test for treponemal antibodies in rabbits. The quantitative MHA-TP in humans after treatment for syphilis and reinfection deserves further study.

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