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Evaluation of chemiluminescence immunoassay as a screening test for syphilis on blood donor samples.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Global re-emergence of syphilis among blood donors necessitates novel diagnostic and prevention approaches that encourage timely intervention. Thus, the present study was planned to evaluate the efficiency of Chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) as a screening test for syphilis.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This prospective cross-sectional observational study was conducted from October 2021 to September 2022. A total of 344 donors were enrolled by purposive sampling method, including additional 16 donors who were reactive by the Rapid plasma reagin test (RPR) during the study period. Data from three screening tests - RPR test, Treponema pallidum haemagglutination assay (TPHA) and CLIA for 360 blood donors were analysed. TPHA was considered the gold standard test.

RESULTS: Of the total 360 samples tested, 21 (5.8 %) were reactive by the RPR test. Of these 21 RPR reactive samples, 19 (90.5 %) were reactive by both TPHA and CLIA, while 2 (9.5 %) RPR reactive samples were non-reactive by both TPHA and CLIA. Of the remaining 339 RPR non-reactive samples, 1 (0.3 %) sample was reactive by both TPHA and CLIA, and 1 (0.3 %) was reactive by CLIA alone. CLIA was found to have sensitivity and specificity of 100 % and 99.7 % and positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV) of 95.2 % and 100 % respectively, while it was 95 %, 99.4 %, 90 %, and 99.7 %, respectively, with the RPR test.

CONCLUSION: CLIA was found to have a higher sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV than the RPR test. Thus, CLIA can be an acceptable alternative for syphilis screening in blood donors.

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