Use of polymerase chain reaction and rabbit infectivity testing to detect Treponema pallidum in amniotic fluid, fetal and neonatal sera, and cerebrospinal fluid

E. Grimprel, P. J. Sanchez, G. D. Wendel, J. M. Burstain, G. H. McCracken, J. D. Radolf, M. V. Norgard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The diagnosis of congenital syphilis continues to pose a difficult clinical challenge. Because the serodiagnosis of congenital syphilis has significant limitations, the direct detection of Treponema pallidum in suspect neonatal tissues or body fluids represents a desirable alternate diagnostic strategy. We developed and applied the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of T. pallidum in clinical materials relevant to the diagnosis of congenital syphilis but which typically contain factors inhibitory for the PCR. Four methods of specimen processing were examined to circumvent PCR inhibition; clinical materials included amniotic fluids, neonatal sera, and neonatal cerebrospinal fluids. The PCR was 100% specific for T. pallidum compared with the sensitive rabbit infectivity test (RIT) for all clinical materials tested. For amniotic fluids, the PCR was 100% sensitive when correlated with the RIT but had a lesser sensitivity when applied to sera or cerebrospinal fluids, which typically contain few treponemes. The combined sensitivity of the PCR for all clinical samples was 78%. Positive PCR results also were obtained among some clinical specimens for which RIT was not performed; these results correlated well with either stigmata or risk factors for congenital syphilis. The combined results suggest that the PCR can be a useful adjunct to the diagnosis and clinical management of congenital syphilis and that it will provide a valuable tool for investigations of the pathogenesis of the disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1711-1718
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume29
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1991

Fingerprint

Treponema pallidum
Amniotic Fluid
Cerebrospinal Fluid
Congenital Syphilis
Rabbits
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Serum
Christianity
Body Fluids
Serologic Tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

Cite this

Use of polymerase chain reaction and rabbit infectivity testing to detect Treponema pallidum in amniotic fluid, fetal and neonatal sera, and cerebrospinal fluid. / Grimprel, E.; Sanchez, P. J.; Wendel, G. D.; Burstain, J. M.; McCracken, G. H.; Radolf, J. D.; Norgard, M. V.

In: Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Vol. 29, No. 8, 1991, p. 1711-1718.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{9e4276d5b364444aa99dc0e618a97d3b,
title = "Use of polymerase chain reaction and rabbit infectivity testing to detect Treponema pallidum in amniotic fluid, fetal and neonatal sera, and cerebrospinal fluid",
abstract = "The diagnosis of congenital syphilis continues to pose a difficult clinical challenge. Because the serodiagnosis of congenital syphilis has significant limitations, the direct detection of Treponema pallidum in suspect neonatal tissues or body fluids represents a desirable alternate diagnostic strategy. We developed and applied the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of T. pallidum in clinical materials relevant to the diagnosis of congenital syphilis but which typically contain factors inhibitory for the PCR. Four methods of specimen processing were examined to circumvent PCR inhibition; clinical materials included amniotic fluids, neonatal sera, and neonatal cerebrospinal fluids. The PCR was 100{\%} specific for T. pallidum compared with the sensitive rabbit infectivity test (RIT) for all clinical materials tested. For amniotic fluids, the PCR was 100{\%} sensitive when correlated with the RIT but had a lesser sensitivity when applied to sera or cerebrospinal fluids, which typically contain few treponemes. The combined sensitivity of the PCR for all clinical samples was 78{\%}. Positive PCR results also were obtained among some clinical specimens for which RIT was not performed; these results correlated well with either stigmata or risk factors for congenital syphilis. The combined results suggest that the PCR can be a useful adjunct to the diagnosis and clinical management of congenital syphilis and that it will provide a valuable tool for investigations of the pathogenesis of the disorder.",
author = "E. Grimprel and Sanchez, {P. J.} and Wendel, {G. D.} and Burstain, {J. M.} and McCracken, {G. H.} and Radolf, {J. D.} and Norgard, {M. V.}",
year = "1991",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "29",
pages = "1711--1718",
journal = "Journal of Clinical Microbiology",
issn = "0095-1137",
publisher = "American Society for Microbiology",
number = "8",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Use of polymerase chain reaction and rabbit infectivity testing to detect Treponema pallidum in amniotic fluid, fetal and neonatal sera, and cerebrospinal fluid

AU - Grimprel, E.

AU - Sanchez, P. J.

AU - Wendel, G. D.

AU - Burstain, J. M.

AU - McCracken, G. H.

AU - Radolf, J. D.

AU - Norgard, M. V.

PY - 1991

Y1 - 1991

N2 - The diagnosis of congenital syphilis continues to pose a difficult clinical challenge. Because the serodiagnosis of congenital syphilis has significant limitations, the direct detection of Treponema pallidum in suspect neonatal tissues or body fluids represents a desirable alternate diagnostic strategy. We developed and applied the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of T. pallidum in clinical materials relevant to the diagnosis of congenital syphilis but which typically contain factors inhibitory for the PCR. Four methods of specimen processing were examined to circumvent PCR inhibition; clinical materials included amniotic fluids, neonatal sera, and neonatal cerebrospinal fluids. The PCR was 100% specific for T. pallidum compared with the sensitive rabbit infectivity test (RIT) for all clinical materials tested. For amniotic fluids, the PCR was 100% sensitive when correlated with the RIT but had a lesser sensitivity when applied to sera or cerebrospinal fluids, which typically contain few treponemes. The combined sensitivity of the PCR for all clinical samples was 78%. Positive PCR results also were obtained among some clinical specimens for which RIT was not performed; these results correlated well with either stigmata or risk factors for congenital syphilis. The combined results suggest that the PCR can be a useful adjunct to the diagnosis and clinical management of congenital syphilis and that it will provide a valuable tool for investigations of the pathogenesis of the disorder.

AB - The diagnosis of congenital syphilis continues to pose a difficult clinical challenge. Because the serodiagnosis of congenital syphilis has significant limitations, the direct detection of Treponema pallidum in suspect neonatal tissues or body fluids represents a desirable alternate diagnostic strategy. We developed and applied the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of T. pallidum in clinical materials relevant to the diagnosis of congenital syphilis but which typically contain factors inhibitory for the PCR. Four methods of specimen processing were examined to circumvent PCR inhibition; clinical materials included amniotic fluids, neonatal sera, and neonatal cerebrospinal fluids. The PCR was 100% specific for T. pallidum compared with the sensitive rabbit infectivity test (RIT) for all clinical materials tested. For amniotic fluids, the PCR was 100% sensitive when correlated with the RIT but had a lesser sensitivity when applied to sera or cerebrospinal fluids, which typically contain few treponemes. The combined sensitivity of the PCR for all clinical samples was 78%. Positive PCR results also were obtained among some clinical specimens for which RIT was not performed; these results correlated well with either stigmata or risk factors for congenital syphilis. The combined results suggest that the PCR can be a useful adjunct to the diagnosis and clinical management of congenital syphilis and that it will provide a valuable tool for investigations of the pathogenesis of the disorder.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0025799775&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0025799775&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 29

SP - 1711

EP - 1718

JO - Journal of Clinical Microbiology

JF - Journal of Clinical Microbiology

SN - 0095-1137

IS - 8

ER -