We report the case of a man who tested positive for syphilis following the intravenous administration of human normal immunoglobulin as part of the treatment of Guillain-Barré syndrome. The chronology of the testing suggested the passive acquisition of treponemal antibody. This phenomenon is not widely documented in the medical literature, but is a theoretical risk of treatment, and serves as a reminder to be cautious in the interpretation of such serological tests.
- CSF, cerebrospinal fluid
- EIA, enzyme immunoassay
- GBS, Guillain-Barré syndrome
- HNIG, human normal immunoglobulin
- RPR, rapid plasma reagin
- TPHA, Treponema pallidum haemagglutination assay
- VDRL, Venereal Disease Research Laboratory
- intravenous immunoglobulin
- serological tests
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Competing interests: None declared.
Consent: the patient concerned has given his consent to publication.
Ethical approval: not required.