Technology ID

Immunoassays and Methods to Diagnose Syphilis by Immobilizing a Lipoidal Antigen on a Solid Support

Lead Inventor
Castro, Arnold (CDC)
George, Robert (CDC)
Research Materials
Occupational Safety and Health
Non-Medical Devices
Medical Devices
Consumer Products
Therapeutic Areas
Infectious Disease
Development Stages
Pre-Clinical (in vitro)
Research Products
Research Equipment
Lead IC
Syphilis, a genital ulcerative disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, is associated with significant complications if left untreated. Syphilis rates in the United States have been increasing.

CDC scientists have developed a method for capturing anti-lipoidal antibodies that are produced during syphilis infection. This method works by immobilizing a lipoidal antigen including (but not limited to) cardiolipin, lecithin and cholesterol on a solid support such as a nitrocellulose membrane. When the membrane-bound lipoidal antigen is exposed to a patient serum sample, any antibodies specific for the lipoidal antigen will be captured, allowing for easy detection. Detection may be accomplished by a visual, qualitative method producing results that are easy to read and interpret. The test can be used at the point-of-care (POC), in rural areas and/or in field studies. This method is adaptable for use with other antigen-antibody interactions and diagnostics for additional diseases characterized by the presence of anti-lipoidal antibodies.
Commercial Applications
  • Point-of-care diagnostic testing for syphilis
  • Rapid lateral flow or flow-through combination (nontreponemal/treponemal) screening for syphilis
  • Monitoring and public health surveillance
  • Syphilis research
Competitive Advantages
  • Easy to interpret results
  • Requires no specialty equipment or refrigeration
  • Detects syphilis antibodies in serum samples
  • Combination screening and confirmatory test in one device
  • Can be used in a point-of-care assay allowing for convenience, rapid results, low costs, and field use
Licensing Contact:
Mitzelfelt, Jeremiah