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Syphilis FTA-ABS Blood Test

Confirmation for Syphilis RPR test
Sample Report
Specimen Type: Blood


Syphilis FTA-ABS Blood Test

The Syphilis FTA-Abs is used to test for the bacterial STD Syphilis.  Typically this test is used as a follow-up for a positive result from a RPR test.  The FTA-Abs test is highly sensitive in detecting antibodies during the various stages of Syphilis infection.

Syphilis is a bacterial infection spread through skin to skin contact with an infected area including during sexual contact.  Syphilis is often called “the great imitator” because it can display symptoms which are common to a number of other conditions.  Syphilis can display different symptoms at different stages of infection.  However, these symptoms are not universal and some may appear at different times for different people or not at all.  Initial infections are often characterized by the appearance of one or more round, painless sores around the infected area.  Other symptoms can include a rash which often appears on the hands or feet, fever, swollen glands, sore throat, headaches, muscle aches, weight loss, and fatigue.  It is common for Syphilis to go years without displaying any symptoms.  If left untreated, Syphilis can damage the brain, nerves, eyes, liver, and bones. 

The FTA-Abs test is most commonly ordered as a confirmatory test for someone who has had a positive result from a Syphilis RPR screening.  The RPR test is the most common initial screening for Syphilis.  An FTA-Abs test is most accurate after the initial stage of infection, which typically lasts 3-6 weeks. 

Turnaround time for the Syphilis FTA-Abs test is typically 1-3 business days.

Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

Incubation Period:

Average incubation period for syphilis ranges from 10-90 days, while most people show detectable antibody levels by 6 weeks for this syphilis testing. The Syphilis FTA-ABS test may be more accurate in detecting syphilis in the tertiary stage.


This syphilis testing does not have any special requirements.

Syphilis Overview



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