Syphilis is a sexually-transmitted disease that can be spread by the bacteria known as Treponema pallidum. It can infect people of any gender, age, race, or nationality. It is one of those diseases that are hard to diagnose because it has the ability to mimic the symptoms of other diseases such as AIDS and herpes.
A person who has contracted syphilis undergoes three stages of the infection. In the first stage, he or she will start showing sores that usually grow in the genital areas. After several days, these sores will heal. Unfortunately, this does not mean that syphilis has been cured. The infection is still there and it is just waiting to attack.
The second and final stages occur when the infected person has not sought the right treatment for syphilis. Several other symptoms also start to show. At this stages, the patient’s health has been greatly affected so it is better if he or she gets treatment as soon as possible.
There are numerous ways to detect syphilis. The most widely used among them all is a blood test. A patient will have to provide his or her blood sample to a medical professional who will examine the specimen. The doctor will look for a particular antibody that is responsible for fighting off the syphilis bacteria. If it is there, it means that the patient is syphilis positive. There are various laboratories in hospitals and clinics that are able to do this job.
Another syphilis testing method is known as the RPR or rapid plasma reagin test. It also searches for antibodies in order to tell whether a person has syphilis or not. The EIA or enzyme immunoassay test also works the same way and it can give accurate results and a very small chance of giving a false positive. Both these methods are highly recommended by doctors because of their accuracy and reliability.
The FTA-ABS or fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption test is a syphilis testing method that makes use of a patient’s spinal fluid sample. A doctor will look for traces of the syphilis bacteria in the sample and confirm if the patient is positive or negative.
Other notable syphilis testing methods are the TPPA or the Treponema pallidum agglutination assay test and the MHA-TP or the microhemagglutination assay test. Both make use of state-of-the-art laboratory tools to ensure an accurate result.
It is important to diagnose syphilis while it is still in the early stage so that treating it will not be so hard to do. There are various ways to get tested so you should visit the nearest STD clinic or medical facility in your place as soon as possible.