Introduction: Due to the existence of a variety of types of non-venereal syphilis caused by the related T. pallidum, regular serological testing such as Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) and Chemiluminescent Microparticle Immunoassay Technique (CMIA) are often unable to differentiate venereal syphilis from the non- venereal one, hence, the interest in the use of molecular biology testing for a confirmation diagnosis of syphilis caused by Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. Objective: The study is designed to assess the effectiveness of PCR testing and serological methods in the diagnosis of Treponema pallidum subsp pallidum among blood donors in Burkina Faso. Methods: The study included 6375 samples of volunteer blood donors from the regional blood transfusion center of Ouagadougou (CRTS/O). Among samples, 183 positive and 59 negative in RPR were analyzed to detect antibodies anti-T. pallidum subsp pallidum with a immunoassay method (CMIA) and were confirmed using the Polymerase Chain Reaction testing. Results: In RPR, we obtained a prevalence rate of 2.9% (183/6375) for treponematosis. From the 183 RPR+ specimen, 108 (59%) were found CMIA+ and 11 (6%) were confirmed PCR+. While the 59 pattern RPR-; 31 (52.5%) were CMIA + including 3 (5.1%) tested PCR+. Seventy-five (75) samples RPR+/CMIA-; 2 (2.7%) were confirmed positive by PCR. All 28 samples RPR-/CMIA- were confirmed negative by PCR. Conclusion: PCR testing confirmed a low distribution of T. pallidum subsp pallidum in comparison to serological methods. Cross-reactions, existence of non-venereal treponemal or immunological scars could account for the discrepancy between the results obtained.
- Treponema pallidum
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