Efforts in blood safety: Integrated approach for serological diagnosis of syphilis

Linda Sommese, Maria Rosaria De Pascale, Maria Capuano, Claudio Napoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent efforts in transfusion medicine are focused on improving blood safety as well as establishing effective and efficient diagnostic algorithms for donor screening. To date, syphilis is a transfusion-transmitted infection re-emerged in many countries as a public health threat especially among populations at specific risk. This task requires new diagnostic tools and hemovigilance programs. The current diagnostic methodologies are debated, since presenting limitations and unresolved issues with special regard to the clinical interpretation of serological patterns, especially in asymptomatic patients and in blood donors. Furthermore, the switch from the traditional to alternative diagnostic algorithms underlines the lack of a gold standard, which has not been supported by shared guidelines. Besides, a lot of ongoing clinical trials on the performance of diagnostic assays, on the serological response associated with different pharmacological treatments, as well as on the prevention programs are currently under investigation. Here, we review the recent literature about the diagnosis of syphilis especially for low-risk populations proposing the adoption of an algorithm for blood donor screening that should satisfy the need of increasing safety for transfusion-transmitted infections in the modern blood transfusion centers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalAsian Journal of Transfusion Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Blood donors
  • confirmatory testing
  • diagnostic tests syphilis
  • serology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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