Testing Of Syphilis

Syphilis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium and this disease won’t go own it’s own and can cause a serious problem if it remained untreated and undiagnosed. You should get tested for syphilis infection if you are worried about having it. A sexual partner has been detected with syphilis or you are noticing some symptoms of syphilis infection. There are many different varieties of tests that can be done to check whether the person is having syphilis infection or not. The tests look for the antibodies of a bacterium or the germs that are responsible for causing syphilis. Testing can be performed by using three things these are.

  • Blood
  • Tissue Sample
  • Body fluid like spinal fluid

There are two types of test that are performed to check whether a person is infected or not and these are 

  • Screening test
  • Confirmation test 

Screening Test: Tests that are used for screening syphilis are

    1. Venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) test: This test looks for those antibodies that are produced by that body which is infected with syphilis bacteria by the use of spinal fluid or blood. 
    2. Rapid plasma reagin (RPR) test: This is another type of test which is performed to find syphilis antibodies.

Confirmation Test: After the screening test comes positive then a confirmatory test is needed. The confirmation test is of following types.

      1. Enzyme immunoassay (EIA) test: This blood test verifies the syphilis antibodies. A positive result of EIA test should be confirmed by either RPR or VDRL test.
      2. Fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption (FTA-ABS) test: This test is recommended to those patients who have been exposed that they are infected with syphilis for more than a month. To conduct this test blood sample or a spinal fluid is needed.
      3. Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay (TPPA): this is a type of test which doesn’t need spinal fluid for testing. It also checks the presence of antibodies.
      4. Darkfield microscopy: In this test, a special microscope is used to examine the syphilis germs in a sample of tissue or fluid from an open sore. This test is mainly used to diagnose syphilis in a premature stage.

Why is it necessary to get tested?

If you have a high risk of getting syphilis infection, the best way to satisfy yourself is to get tested because the bacterium of syphilis can pass to further parts of the body through the flow of blood. If it is not treated on time, it can spread in the body and can Cause different damages like brain and heart damages, blindness, damage to the spinal cord and even death. Other reasons regarding why it is necessary to get tested for syphilis are:

  1. To make sure if your healing is working well
  2. To discover further infections particularly if you have sexually transmitted infection more over than syphilis.
  3. It is suggested to pregnant women to have syphilis screening earlier in their pregnancy.

What to do before taking a test: 

  • Before taking a test you should first update your doctor. if you are taking any other medications such as antibiotics or over the counter medicines
  • Inform your doctor that you have medical allergies like allergic reaction to anesthesia and antibiotics
  • Notify your doctor that you are pregnant or suppose it