In this paper the development of a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) immunosensor for syphilis screening is described. This immunosensor is based on the detection of antibodies in serum against the causative organism Treponema pallidum. In order to achieve selectivity a recombinant Treponema pallidum membrane protein A (TmpA) was used. This antigen can react with antibodies to T. pallidum, present in serum of syphilitic patients. Reproducible results have been obtained, using a 'sandwich SPR' method: binding of a sandwich antibody to the treponemal antibody after serum incubation was measured in real time while the binding was taking place. The SPR results obtained from ten blind-coded sera corresponded well with classical syphilis tests (Treponema pallidum haemagglutination assay (TPHA), fluorescent treponemal antibody-absorbed test (FTA-ABS), venereal diseases research laboratory flocculation test (VDRL) and TmpA-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (TmpA-ELISA)). Preliminary experiments showed that direct measurement of serum (in the 'one step SPRS̊) is not yet possible, probably as a result of non-uniformity of serum samples. The application of latex beads is considered to solve this problem.
- Surface plasmon resonance
- Treponema pallidum membrane protein A