Syphilis FTA-ABS

The Syphilis FTA-ABS test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Syphilis FTA-ABS (Confirmation for Syphilis RPR test)

FTA-ABS - Treponema pallidum Ab

Clinical Significance

The FTA-ABS is a specific treponemal assay to detect antibody to t. Pallidum. The FTA-ABS becomes reactive 4-6 weeks after infection. Unlike the nontreponemal tests, once the FTA-ABS test becomes reactive, it will remain reactive for many years. Since the reactivity found with the FTA-ABS does not indicate response to therapy, it is not suitable for monitoring treatment. The FTA-ABS test does not distinguish between syphillis and other treponematoses such as yaws, pinta and bejil.

The treponemal antibody test (FTA-ABS) is often used as an initial test. A positive result indicates the presence of syphilis antibodies in the blood, but since treponemal antibodies remain positive even after an infection has been treated, it does not indicate whether the person has a current infection or was infected in the past. Conversely, nontreponemal antibodies as detected with an RPR typically disappear in an adequately treated person after about 3 years. Thus, if an initial treponemal test is positive, an RPR can be performed to differentiate between an active or past infection. In this case, a positive RPR would confirm that the person has been exposed to syphilis and, if not treated previously, has an active infection or, if treatment had occurred more than 3 years ago, possible re-infection.

Alternative Name(s) 

Treponemal pallidum, Fluorescent Treponemal Antigen, Syphilis

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: Fluorescent Treponemal Antigen, FTAABS, Syphilis, Treponemal pallidum