Is a blood report of VDRL reactive suggestive of syphilis?
Recently during a blood donation activity, I got to know that I was VDRL reactive (VDRL RPR test). I repeated the test from an external laboratory and the findings were consitent ie VDRL reactive(titers were not provided). I got a TPHA test done and it returned as negative. Does this mean I do not have Syphilisis or do I need to get any other tests done? Or shall I start treatment of syphilisis based on VDRL results?
For reference: I am sexually inactive, the last sexual encounter was around 2.5 yrs back using protection with a stranger, otherwise never had sex with anyone.
Require FTA-ABS test for confirmation.
I understand your concern.
Syphilis is caused by a treponeme bacteria.
VDRL is a non-treponemal test using for screening purposes which detect antibodies against treponeme in our blood.
In the absence of symptoms or recent sexual encounter, a REACTIVE VDRL can either be a false positive or a reflection of infection in the remote past or a latent stage of syphilis.
Because of the possibility of false-positive results, confirmation for any positive or equivocal nontreponemal test result should follow with a treponemal test, such as the fluorescent treponemal antibody-absorption (FTA-ABS).
FTA-ABS is commonly used as a confirmatory test following positive VDRL.
FTA-ABS has almost 100% sensitivity for detecting syphilis infection in other stages. Its specificity is 96%.
Hence, I advise you to get FTA-ABS instead of TPHA.
You need treatment only of FTA-ABS is positive.
Post your further queries if any.
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