- Autores: Aguas MJ, Araújo C, Batista T, Castro R, Mansinho K, Pereira FDLM
- Ano de Publicação: 2016
- Journal: Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis
- Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jcla.21913/epdf
Laboratory diagnosis of neurosyphilis is complicated especially when it is asymptomatic, no single laboratory test result being appropriate to diagnose central nervous system infectivity caused by Treponema pallidum. Our objective was to evaluate two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques for the detection of T. pallidum DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with syphilis.
One hundred twenty-four CSF samples from patients with reactive blood tests for syphilis were obtained. Two PCR techniques (47-PCR, polA-PCR) were used to detect T. pallidum DNA. The laboratory criteria used for the diagnosis of neurosyphilis to which the PCR techniques were compared were those recommended by the IUSTI: 2008 European guidelines on the management of syphilis.
Treponema pallidum DNA was detected amplified in 37 of 124 (29.8%) and 30 of 124 (24.2%) samples with the 47-PCR and polA-PCR, respectively. Sensitivities were 75.8% and 69.7% and specificities 86.8% and 92.3%, respectively, for 47-PCR and polA-PCR techniques, respectively. The three CSF samples of patients with primary syphilis did not fulfill the criteria of neurosyphilis and DNA was only detected in one by the 47-PCR. In samples from secondary syphilis and neurosyphilis, three of nine and nine of nine respectively, results were coincident for the two PCR techniques and neurosyphilis criteria. Major discrepancies between the two PCR techniques and neurosyphilis diagnostic criteria were observed in latent syphilis.
Beyond some limitations of the study, which are discussed here, both PCR techniques seem to be useful for the diagnosis of neurosyphilis, although 47-PCR presents a higher sensitivity and polA-PCR a higher specificity.