As used by immunologists, this term refers to IgE antibodies. As used by microbiologists, it refers to antibodies produced in syphilis – probably in response to the tissue damage caused by Treponema pallidum. Production of these antibodies in patients with syphilis has been utilised in the development of the non-treponemal serological tests for syphilis such as the VDRL Test, the RPR Test and the now superceded Wasserman Complement Fixation Test. These tests are useful in that they are only positive in active syphilis but they have many biological false positive reactions, including pregnancy.
Article Categories:Dictionary of Tropical Medicine