What Syphilis Test Do I Take?
Syphilis tests are serologic tests. They can either be nontreponemal or treponemal-specific.
Nontreponemal tests look for reagin antibodies. Doctors use them as initial screening tests. These directly look for the syphilis bacteria or for antibodies for that bacteria.
Doctors use treponemal tests to confirm results. These look for the antibodies directed towards the bacteria themselves. They also look for antibodies directed towards antigens — the toxic substances the bacteria produce. They search for other treponemes (toxins that induces an immune response from the body) as well.
The use of one type of test alone can be insufficient, and can produce false positive results.
You will first be screened for syphilis and only given further testing to confirm if the initial screening results turn out positive.