A total of 767 sera were collected from 187 men, 200 women and 380 children in a Somali village, Jambaluul. All sera were tested for syphilis serological markers by Venereal Diseases Research Laboratory (VDRL) and Treponema pallidum Haemagglutination Assay (TPHA). Sera positive for both or either of these tests were further analysed for the presence of specific IgM antibodies by Solid Phase Haemadsorption Assay (SPHA). A high and almost equal prevalence of TPHA positivity was found in men and women; 24% and 22.5%, respectively, and IgM antibodies were found in 3% and 4%, respectively. TPHA positivity significantly increased with age. Thus more than half of the villagers at the age of 45 years or more were TPHA positive. One percent of the children were TPHA positive. From all adults aged 15 years and above urogenital specimens were also taken for Chlamydia trachomatis antigen detection with an enzyme-amplified immunoassay (IDEIA) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae culture. Chlamydial genital infection was found in 6% of the men and 18% of the women. All gonococcal cultures were negative.
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