Syphilis Test RPR
The Syphilis test, RPR test is an initial screening test used to diagnose syphilis. Syphilis RPR (Rapid Plasma Reagin) test is a non-treponemal test. A nontreponemal test uses a mixture of cardiolipin with lipids to detect reagin, which is present in the sera of patients with syphilis. Cardiolipins are released when a treponeme bacteria damages cells. If cardiolipin is found in the blood sample, it means an active infection. All reactive nontreponemal tests should be followed up with treponemal testing (FTA-ABS test) to confirm the diagnosis. The FTA-ABS test will help distinguish between syphilis and other infections. Syphilis RPR test is also used to see how treatment for syphilis is working. After treatment with antibiotics, the levels of syphilis antibodies should fall. These levels can be monitored with another RPR test. Unchanged or rising levels can mean a persistent infection. No special preparation is required on the part of the individual who is to be tested.
Syphilis Test FTA-ABS
Treponema pallidum, the bacterium which causes syphilis has four subspecies:
To detect antibodies to Treponema pallidum, the FTA-ABS (Fluorescent treponemal antibody absorbed), a blood serum screening test is done. This is sometimes also referred to as syphilis Immunofluorescent Assay (IFA). The FTA-ABS test is a second test to confirm the presence of the infection and is usually done after the RPR test and VDRL test results are positive. FTA-ABS test is used to detect syphilis infection at any stage except during the first 3 to 4 weeks after exposure and in tertiary stages of the disease. The test is more reliable for the secondary stage of syphilis. The test is done on a sample of blood or spinal fluid. A positive FTA-ABS usually indicates infection with syphilis and a negative or nonreactive result means there is no current or past infection with syphilis. The test requires no prior preparation on the part of the individual who is to be tested.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: January 20, 2020