Ann Lab Med 2019; 39(4): 396-399
Comparative Performance of the Reverse Algorithm Using Architect Syphilis TP Versus the Traditional Algorithm Using Rapid Plasma Reagin in Florida’s Public Health Testing Population
Yolanda R. Totten, B.S., M.T., Bonnie M. Hardy, R.N., Berry Bennett , M.P.H., Marie-Claire Rowlinson, Ph.D., and Susanne Crowe, M.H.A.
Bureau of Public Health Laboratories, Florida Department of Health, Jacksonville, FL, USA
Corresponding author: Berry Bennett, M.P.H.
Bureau of Public Health Laboratories, Florida Department of Health, 1217 N. Pearl St., Jacksonville, FL 32202, USA
Tel: +1-904-791-1527, Fax: +1-904-791-1529
Received: June 11, 2018; Revised: October 25, 2018; Accepted: January 31, 2019; Published online: July 1, 2019.
© Korean Society for Laboratory Medicine. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
In Florida, where syphilis is a reportable disease, the number of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis cases has increased from 3,266 in 2008–2010 to 5,340 in 2013–2015, a 63% increase. The objective of this study was to compare the performance and sensitivity of the syphilis reverse algorithm with the traditional algorithm for detecting P&S (infectious) syphilis cases. Clinical specimens from individuals who self-referred for syphilis testing at public health clinics were processed using the traditional algorithm (non-treponemal rapid plasma reagin (RPR) test followed by a confirmatory treponemal (EIA) test) and then further tested with the Architect Syphilis TP (ASTP) immunoassay (Abbott Diagnostics, Chicago, IL, USA) or by RPR confirmation, if needed (reverse algorithm). Of 1,079 specimens, 59 were positive for syphilis. The sensitivity of the reverse algorithm was 98.3% (58/59) and of the traditional algorithm was 72.9% (43/59). Based on clinical evidence, of the 16 traditional algorithm-negative but reverse algorithm-positive cases, 68.8% (11/16) were classified as missed P&S infections (treatment naïve) and 31.2% (5/16) were classified as missed past syphilis (latent or infections with documented linkage to care). The reverse algorithm enables the detection of additional P&S syphilis cases missed by our current traditional algorithm.
Keywords: Syphilis, Traditional algorithm, Reverse algorithm, Detection, Architect Syphilis TP, Rapid plasma reagin, Florida

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