Introduction: Syphilis has re-emerged as a
global public health threat with an estimated 6 million
new cases every year. Asymptomatic nature of infection
for a considerable time is a major reason for spread and
challenge for prevention. Early diagnosis and treatment
especially in hard-to-reach populations is essential for its
control. Aim of this study was to evaluate the
performance of rapid test for syphilis among the
attendees in a sexually transmitted infection clinic.
Material & Methods: The study was conducted from
September 2022 to August 2023 at Government Medical
College and Hospital Nagpur. It was a prospective cross-
sectional study wherein 118 patients of clinically
suspected syphilis attending the regional center for STI
were tested by rapid test for qualitative detection of IgM,
IgA, IgG antibodies to Treponema pallidum (Syphicheck:
Oscar, Delhi India). Evaluation of the rapid test was done
using Treponemal Pallidum Hemagglutination Assay
(TPHA) as gold standard. Non treponemal test namely
Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) was also
Results: Out of 118 serum samples TPHA was positive in
52 samples, negative in 63 samples and indeterminate in 3
samples. The 3 indeterminate samples were excluded
from evaluation of the other two tests. Out of 115 serum
samples, in 52 samples a positive rapid test was in
agreement with TPHA giving a sensitivity of 100%. In 3
samples rapid test was positive but TPHA was negative
giving a specificity of 92.64%. The positive and negative
predictive value of rapid test were 89.65% and 100%
respectively. A reactive VDRL test correlated with TPHA
in 46 samples giving a sensitivity of 88.46%. It was
reactive in 11 samples which were negative by TPHA
giving a specificity of 82.53%. All these 11 samples were
positive in a low titre of ≤ 1:4.
Conclusion: Sensitivity and specificity of rapid test was
100% and 92.64% whereas positive and negative
predictive values were 89.65% and 100% respectively.
The rapid test was easy to perform, required no technical
expertise and is suitable for hard-to-reach population.
Keywords : Syphilis, Treponema Pallidum, VDRL, TPHA.