Syphilis is a common bacterial sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacteria T. Pallidum (Treponema pallidum). The disease can be cured with antibiotics if identified during the early stages, however, it can become more difficult to treat as time goes on. This type of treponema-specific syphilis testing differs from RPR (Rapid Plasma Reagin) testing in that it looks for biomarkers released from cells when damaged by syphilis, and not for the presence of antibodies to syphilis like the RPR tests.
Syphilis, T Pallidum Test
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About Our Syphilis, T Pallidum Test
Note: Fasting is not required for this test.
Treponema pallidum is the bacterium responsible for syphilis. In order to check for syphilis infection, this Treponema-specific test uses an enzyme immunoassay to check your blood for antibodies to this bacteria. The presence of antibodies to Treponema pallidum is a very accurate and reliable indication that you either had or currently have a syphilis infection. Antibodies are produced by the immune system when antigens, such as a virus, are detected. Additionally, this test can detect a syphilis infection during all stages of syphilis beyond the incubation period, which is 3–6 weeks.
It’s important to note that once you develop antibodies to syphilis (Treponema pallidum) from a previous infection, this test will always result in positive, regardless of whether you currently have a syphilis infection or not. It is widely suggested to screen for syphilis using a non-treponemal test first and then confirm that diagnosis with a treponema-specific test like this. This is because non-treponemal tests, such as our RPR test, can both identify if you have syphilis and how developed the infection is. This test is much more specific because it is only looking for syphilis antibodies, and can virtually eliminate the chances of a false-negative or false-positive result.
What is Syphilis?
When Should I Test for Syphilis?
The recommended minimum window period for this syphilis test method is:
- Syphilis - 3-6 weeks post potential exposure.
What are the Symptoms of Syphilis?
Symptoms of syphilis usually occur in stages. Stage 1 and 2 heal on there own after a time, but if left untreated stage 3 can be deadly:
- One or more sores/painless ulcers on genitals or in/around the mouth
- A "copper penny" rash on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands
- Warts in the groin
- Patches in the mouth that are white
- Severe heart, brain and nerve problems that may lead to paralysis, dementia, blindness, impotence, deafness and/or death
Why Should I Take the T. Pallidum Test?
You should take the T. Pallidum test if you have previously had a syphilis infection and are looking to test for syphilis again.
You should also take it if you've already screened using the RPR test, and need a confirmation test.
If you've never had syphilis and/or have never been tested for syphilis, please refer to our RPR syphilis test.
What is the Test Methodology?
This test uses an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) with reflex to charcoal flocculation if reactive.