Objective: To evaluate the molecular typing system for Treponema pallidum using cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens obtained from patients with neurosyphilis 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 tprE, G and J genes and determination of the number of 60 base pair 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%), subtype 3e in 4 specimens (30.7%) and subtypes 17e and 2i in 1 specimen (7.6%) each.
Conclusions: This study shows that the typing system can be applied to specimens which may contain low numbers of spirochaetes such as CSF.
- bp, base pair
- CSF, cerebrospinal fluid
- FTA-ABS, fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption
- RFLP, restriction fragment length polymorphism
- STI, sexually transmitted disease
- VDRL, Venereal Disease Research Laboratory
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Published Online First 23 January 2007
Competing interests: None.
The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Contributors: JM was the PI for the study and the lead author for the paper; AH and BW contributed to the design of the study and supervised the project; AP edited and prepared the manuscript for submission and all authors contributed to the write up.