Fluid from a sore
that may be caused by syphilis sometimes is collected and examined with a
special type of microscope (darkfield microscope).
syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is often done for
people who engage in
high-risk sexual behavior. If you have syphilis, your
sex partner or partners should be notified, tested, and treated to prevent
serious complications and to stop the spread of the disease.
treatment, a positive reagin (VDRL and RPR) syphilis test result usually
becomes negative. Positive treponemal (FTA-ABS, MHA-TP, TPPA) tests stay
positive for a lifetime.
Sores caused by syphilis (chancres) make
it easier to get and spread an HIV infection.
People with HIV infection who have a negative VDRL test should
have a second test for syphilis if the infection is suspected.
Most states require doctors to report all cases of
syphilis to the local health department. In some states, doctors
are also required to ask for the names and addresses of your recent sex
partners. If you have syphilis, the health department may contact you to make sure
that you get treatment. If you give the names of your sex partners to your
doctor or the health department, they will be contacted in confidence by the
health department and advised to have a test for syphilis.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010). Syphilis section of Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2010. MMWR, 59(RR-12): 1-110. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5912a1.htm?s_cid=rr5912a1_w.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2009). Screening for syphilis infection in pregnancy: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. Annals of Internal Medicine, 150(10): 705-709.
Other Works Consulted
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis:
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009).
Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.