Syphilis RPR Blood Test
Syphilis RPR Blood Test
The Syphilis RPR (rapid plasma reagin) is the most commonly ordered screening for Syphilis. This test looks for antibodies which the body develops in response to infection with Syphilis bacteria.
Syphilis is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. It is a bacterial infection which is spread through contact with syphilis sores on a person's body. Syphilis is often called “the great imitator” because it can display symptoms which are common to a number of other conditions. Syphilis infections are divided into several phases. While there are symptoms which are commonly associated with certain phases, not everyone will display the same symptoms or any symptoms at all. Identifying and treating syphilis early is key to avoiding long term health complications.
- Primary Phase: One or more painless sores, called chancres, appear around the infected area. Depending on where the sores appear, they may be difficult to notice. Sores will usually heal on their own after 3-6 weeks.
- Secondary Phase: Some people will have symptoms within several weeks of the initial sores clearing up. These may include sore throat, fever, headache, body ache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, or a rash on the hands and feet. The symptoms will typically clear up on their own.
- Latent Phase: The infection is still present, but will display no symptoms. This stage can last for years and during this time the infection can begin to affect the heart, brain, nerves, bones, or other parts of the body.
- Tertiary Phase: Left untreated, Syphilis can cause serious health issues including death. Some people may experience vision problems, dementia, numbness, or loss of muscle control.
Syphilis is highly contagious and testing is advisable for anyone who is sexually active. Pregnant women should receive Syphilis testing as infection can result in an increased risk of stillbirth and health complications for the infant.
Due to its high level of sensitivity and quick turnaround, a Syphilis RPR test is typically ordered as an initial screening for Syphilis. However, this test may cross-react with other diseases such as HIV, Malaria, Pneumonia, Lyme Disease or Lupus. Because antibodies can linger in a person's system, it is possible to have a positive result even after successful treatment. It is recommended that a positive RPR test be followed up with an FTA-Abs or TPA test. If someone has an FTA or TPA test done first and receives a positive result, then an RPR is recommended as a follow-up. To order both the RPR and TPA tests together, see our Syphilis Comprehensive Panel.
Turnaround time for the Syphilis RPR test is typically 1 business day.
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.
Average incubation period for syphilis ranges from 10-90 days, while most people show detectable antibody levels by 6 weeks with this syphilis testing.
This syphilis testing does not have any special requirements.Syphilis Overview