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few more qestions: neurosyphilis or tertiary syphilis and testing

Nov 14, 2009

I had a follow up question as well. Say if an individual has neurosyphilis. Would the fta-abs and tppa (blood) tests show presence of the SYPHILIS BACTERIA? (rather than the distinct category of neurosyhilis)

would a person with UNDIAGNOSED neurosyphilis show POSITIVE for syphilis germ via fta abs and tppa blood test? i assume neurosyphilis can only be diagnosed by the spinal fluid test.

I cant seem to find this information anywhere, and the only diagnoses for neurosyphilis seems to be from a spinal fluid test, i would like clarification if normal blood tests WOULD reveal syphilis infection, if a person has undiagnosed syphilis? Or does the germ only stay in the spine and not be detected in the blood

How accurate would these blood tests be (fta abs tppa)in the LATE or TERTIARY stage or in the stage of someone with NEUROSYPHILIS? I am aware RPR goes to negative usually, but what about the FTA ABS and TPPA?

(my previous email to you was in reference to only blood tests by the way, not spinal fluid testing). If you can please respond to both emails i sent, as i cant find any information about this issue anywhere, i also searched this website high and low for an hour and cannot find an answer.

Thank you doctor , your contribution to this site is amazing, the public appreciates your knowledgeable service and help!! This site is such a valueable resource! Cheers.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Those tests do not show the presence of bacteria specifically, but determine if certain antibodies to bacterial proteins are present. These tests will likely not become negative, even after treatment. The RPR is used to measure treatment response and is expressed as a titer (like 1:4, 1:8, etc). We usually look for a 4-fold decrease as a measure of successful treatment. The RPR might also stay positive for years.

neurosyphilis or tertiary syphilis and testing
hypothetical question

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