What Can Cause A False Positive For Syphillis Test in Omaha

Published: 16th October 2009
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FTAbs test may be negative due to immunodeficiency. Thus dark field examination of appropriate specimens should be performed in any patient in whom syphilis is suspected and even if VDRL is negative. FTA test detects two types of antibodies. FTA-ABS proved to be reactive. The patient received treatment with penicillin although she had no evidence of clinical symptoms of syphilis or evidence of autoimmune manifestations. STD Testing Centers Omaha NE

False-positive and false-negative results are possible. False-positive tests also occur, therefore, two blood tests are normally used. False-positive and false-negative results are possible.

False-positive tests (showing signs of an infection when it is not present) also can occur. Therefore, two blood tests are usually used.

Antibodies for both HIV-1 and Syphilis can be detected in the blood in four to six weeks after initial exposure. Antibodies may not be able to be detected for up to three months after exposure to the bacteria, and the antibodies remain in the body for years. If you have had a past infection with syphilis and were treated, your test results could still be positive. Antibodies to phospholipids (aPLs) can cause narrowing of blood vessels, leading to blood clots in the legs or lungs, stroke, heart attack, or miscarriage. The most commonly measured aPLs are lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin antibody, and anti-beta2 glycoprotein I.

Blood tests also provide evidence of infection, although they may give false-negative results (not show signs of an infection despite its presence) for up to 3 months after infection. False-positive tests (showing signs of an infection when it is not present) also can occur. Blood is typically drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The site is cleaned with germ-killing medicine (antiseptic).

Sensitivity of the RPR and VDRL tests are estimated to be 78 percent to 86 percent for detecting primary syphilis infection, 100 percent for detecting secondary syphilis infection, and 95 percent to 98 percent for detecting latent syphilis infection. Specificity ranges from 85 percent to 99 percent and may be reduced in individuals who have preexisting conditions (i.e., collagen vascular disease, pregnancy, intravenous drug use, advanced malignancy, tuberculosis, malaria, and viral and rickettsial diseases) that produce false-positive results. Sensitivity varies with stage of syphilis infection. False negative non-treponemal test results occur in up to 25% of primary syphilis cases; the non-treponemal tests are almost 100% sensitive in secondary syphilis.

Medical experts describe the course of the disease by dividing it into four stages -- primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary (late). An infected person who has not been treated may infect others during the first two stages, which usually last one to two years.

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