DOI: 10.1177/09564624241239102 ISSN: 0956-4624

Treponema Pallidum rapid syphilis compared diagnostic algorithm syphilis in men who have sex with men (MSM)

Putri L Karim, Inda A Aryani, Suroso A Nugroho, Irsan Saleh, Lisa Dewi, Yuli Kurniawati, Fitriani Fitriani
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Dermatology


Syphilis infection can be asymptomatic and difficult to diagnose based on clinical symptoms. Early detection and treatment are critical for preventing and controlling syphilis as well as long-term serious complications. A serological examination based on the diagnostic algorithm was used to confirm the diagnosis of syphilis. Syphilis is frequent in high-risk groups, such as men who have sex with men (MSM). Treponema pallidum (TP) rapid can be used for early syphilis detection. The diagnostic value of TP rapid with diagnostic algorithm (RPR-TPHA) utilizing whole blood in MSM should be studied.


To determine the diagnostic value of TP rapid syphilis test compared to a diagnostic algorithm (RPR-TPHA) among MSM.


A diagnostic test with a cross-sectional design at Dr Mohammad Hoesin Palembang General Hospital from November 2022 to January 2023. The sampling method was consecutive sampling with a total sample of 83 MSM based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. All samples were tested for RPR, TPHA, and TP rapid. The diagnostic value of TP rapid was evaluated with RPR-TPHA as a diagnostic algorithm for syphilis.


The sensitivity and specificity value of the TP rapid compare diagnostic algorithm as gold standard were 95.8% and 96.6% respectively. Other metrics: positive predictive value (PPV) 92%, negative predictive value (NPV) 98%, positive likelihood ratio (PLR) 28.27, negative likelihood ratio (NLR) 0.04, accuracy 96% and AUC 0.962.


The TP rapid test has a high diagnostic value and can be used to establish an early diagnosis of syphilis in MSM.

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