serologic test for syphilis


serologic test for syphilis
(STS) any test for serum antibodies indicative of Treponema pallidum infection. There are two types: nontreponemal antigen tests detect antibodies to substance (reagin) derived from host tissues, now known to consist of the phospholipids cardiolipin and lecithin; they originated with the Wassermann test and are now represented by the VDRL and RPR (rapid plasma reagin) tests. Treponemal antigen tests detect specific antitreponemal antibodies; they originated with the TPI (T. pallidum immobilization) test and are now represented by the DFA-TP (direct fluorescent antibody–T. pallidum) test, the FTA-ABS (fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption) test, the MHA-TP (microhemagglutination assay–T. pallidum), and assays using ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) methods. The term “serologic tests for syphilis” is occasionally used with reference only to nontreponemal antigen tests.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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