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مشاركةبواسطة دكتور كمال سيد » الأحد ديسمبر 16, 2018 5:15 pm

What is a rapid plasma reagin (RPR) test?

A rapid plasma reagin (RPR) test is a blood test used to screen you for syphilis. It works by detecting the nonspecific antibodies that your body produces to fight the infection.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum. It can be fatal if left untreated. Combined with specific antibody testing, the RPR test allows your doctor to confirm the diagnosis of active infection and start your treatment. This reduces the chances of complications and the spread of the disease by an infected but unaware person.

The RPR test measures antibodies that are not specific only to syphilis, rather than the bacterium that causes disease itself. It can also be used to check the progress of treatment for active syphilis. After a course of effective antibiotic therapy, your doctor would expect to see the number of antibodies drop, and an RPR test could confirm this.

False negatives tend to be more common in the initial and end stages of infection. Among people who are in the secondary (middle) stage of infection, the RPR test result is nearly always positive.

The RPR test also can produce false-positive results, suggesting you have syphilis when you actually don’t. One reason for a false positive is the presence of another disease that produces antibodies similar to the ones that fight syphilis. A few of the conditions that can cause a false positive include the following:

Lyme disease
certain types of pneumonia, especially those associated with a compromised immune system


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مشاركةبواسطة دكتور كمال سيد » الأحد ديسمبر 16, 2018 5:50 pm

Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody-Absorption (FTA-ABS) test

If your result is negative, your doctor may ask you to wait a few weeks and then return for another test if you are at a higher risk for syphilis. This is because of the RPR test’s potential for a false negative.

Due to the risk of false-positive results, your doctor will confirm the presence of syphilis with a second test, one that is specific for antibodies against the bacterium that causes syphilis, before starting your treatment. One such test is called the fluorescent treponemal antibody-absorption (FTA-ABS) test.

The fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption (FTA-ABS) test is a blood test that checks for the presence of antibodies to Treponema pallidum bacteria. These bacteria cause syphilis.

Syphilis s a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that’s spread through direct contact with syphilitic sores. Sores are most often present on the penis, vagina, or rectum. These sores aren’t always noticeable. You may not even know that you’re infected.

The FTA-ABS test doesn’t actually check for the syphilis infection itself. However, it can determine whether you have antibodies to the bacteria that cause it. Antibodies are special proteins produced by the immune system when harmful substances are detected. These harmful substances, known as antigens, include viruses, fungi, and bacteria. This means that people who are infected with syphilis will have the corresponding antibodies.
The FTA-ABS test is often performed after other tests that screen for syphilis, such as the rapid plasma regain (RPR) and venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) tests. It’s usually done if these initial screening tests come back positive for syphilis. The FTA-ABS test can help confirm whether the results of these tests are accurate.
Your doctor may also order this test if you have symptoms of syphilis, such as:
small, roundish sores on the genitals, which are called chancres
a fever
hair loss
aching joints
swollen lymph nodes
an itchy rash on the hands and feet

The FTA-ABS test might also be done if you’re being treated for another STI or if you’re pregnant. Syphilis can be life-threatening for a growing fetus if it’s left untreated. You might also need this test if you’re about to get married. This test is required if you want to get a marriage certificate in some states.

A normal test result will give a negative reading for the presence of antibodies to T. pallidum bacteria. This means that you’re not currently infected with syphilis and that you’ve never been infected with the disease.

Abnormal Results

An abnormal test result will give a positive reading for the presence of antibodies to T. pallidum bacteria. This means that you have or have had a syphilis infection. Your test result will also be positive even if you’ve been previously diagnosed with syphilis and it was treated successfully.

If you’ve tested positive for syphilis and it’s in the early stages, then the infection can be treated relatively easily. Treatment often involves penicillin injections. Penicillin is one of the most widely used antibiotics and is usually effective in treating syphilis. You’ll receive a follow-up blood test every three months for the first year and then one year later to ensure the syphilis infection is gone.

Unfortunately, if you have tested positive for syphilis and the infection in its later stages, then the damage to your organs and tissues is irreversible. This means that treatment is likely to be ineffective.

In rare cases, you may receive a false positive test result for syphilis. This means that antibodies to T. pallidum bacteria were found, but you don’t have syphilis. Instead, you may have another disease caused by these bacteria, such as yaws or pinta. Yaws is a long-term infection of the bones, joints, and skin. Pinta is a disease that affects the skin.


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مشاركةبواسطة دكتور كمال سيد » الأحد ديسمبر 16, 2018 6:04 pm

What is a VDRL test?

the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) test is designed to assess whether you have syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. The bacterium infects by penetrating into the lining of the mouth or genital area.

The VDRL test doesn’t look for the bacteria that cause syphilis. Instead, it checks for the antibodies your body makes in response to antigens produced by cells damaged by the bacteria.
You don’t need to have the symptoms of syphilis for this test to be accurate. Because it checks for antibodies produced as a result of a syphilis infection, the VDRL test can be used regardless of whether you currently have any symptoms.

If your doctor suspects that the syphilis infection has spread to your brain, your doctor may choose to test your spinal fluid in addition to your blood.
If your test comes back positive for syphilis antibodies, you probably (but not definitely) have syphilis. If this occurs, your doctor will order a more specific test to confirm the results. A treponemal test is often used to confirm the positive test. Treponemal tests check whether your immune system has produced specific antibodies in direct response to the syphilis-causing Treponema pallidum.

Potential for false positives and negatives

The VDRL test isn’t always accurate. For example, you may have false-negative results if you’ve had syphilis for less than three months, as it could take this long for your body to make antibodies. The test is also unreliable in late-stage syphilis.

On the other hand, the following can cause false-positive results:
Lyme disease
pneumonia (certain types only)
systemic lupus erythematosus
IV drug use

In some cases, your body may not produce antibodies even if you have been infected with syphilis. This means the VDRL test will be inaccurate.

The antibodies produced as a result of a syphilis infection can stay in your body even after your syphilis has been treated. This means you might always have positive results on this test.

Syphilis is treatable, but it’s important to consult your doctor as soon as you think you might have been exposed. If it’s left untreated, it can spread through your body and cause complications in your organs. The VDRL test isn’t perfect, but it’s a trusted test that can be a first step in helping to determine if you’ve been infected. The main thing to remember is to practice safe sex, and if you think there’s a chance that you’ve had contact with syphilis, see your doctor right away.

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