Syphilis Detection Test

Alternate Names

  • STS (Serologic Test for Syphilis)
  • VDRL (Venereal Disease Research Laboratory)
  • RPR (Rapid Plasma Reagin)
  • FTA (Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody Test)
  • Darkfield Microscopy

Antibodies are formed by the body as a response to an infection, and levels can be measured to diagnose diseases specific to the presence of these antibodies. Syphilis is a sexually-transmitted disease caused by the organism Treponema pallidum, and people who are infected will have antibodies against this organism in their blood. The most frequently used syphilis tests are VDRL and RPR tests; false positives are possible with both. If either of these tests have a positive result, a more specific test will be run, such as FTA Absorption Test (FTA-ABS) which is more accurate with rare false positives. Syphilis Detection Test is part of the TORCH Test that is routinely run on pregnant women to screen for the presence of undiagnosed diseases dangerous to their unborn baby.


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