What is the role of serologic testing in the diagnosis of endemic syphilis?

Updated: Sep 14, 2020
  • Author: Hassan I Galadari, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Results of treponemal tests, such as the fluorescence treponemal antibody absorption (FTA-ABS) test, are positive in all stages of the disease. [15, 16, 17]

Nontreponemal tests, such as the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) test and the rapid plasma reagent (RPR) test, are reactive 2-3 weeks after the onset of the primary lesion. These tests have a sensitivity of 80% in patients with a 2- to 3-month history of symptomatic primary syphilis. In the secondary stage, these tests have a sensitivity of near 100%.


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