Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) Test With Reflex
The Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) Test with Reflex screens for and diagnoses syphilis.
Please note that this test for syphilis may miss early and late cases of syphilis. Always consult a healthcare provider if you have symptoms or are concerned about an exposure.
A highly contagious infection, Syphilis is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD). The syphilis infection is transmitted through contact with a syphilitic sore, known as a chancre, usually during sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, or oral). Sometimes, syphilis is transmitted from a parent to a child during fetal development or childbirth.
This Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) Test with Reflex to Quantitative RPR & Confirmatory Treponema Pallidum Antibodies test screens for the reagin antibody, often produced by the body in response to syphilis infection and provides confirmation testing on reactive results. Although reagin antibodies are produced when a person has syphilis, individuals may have false-positive test results due to other underlying health conditions or factors unrelated to syphilis. A false-positive test RPR test result may be caused by one or more of the following conditions:
- Lyme disease
- Certain types of pneumonia
- Autoimmune disorders
- Tuberculosis (TB)
However, Treponema pallidum antibodies are specific to syphilis since the Treponema pallidum bacteria cause the infection. Treponema pallidum antibodies are usually produced within three to six weeks of infection. Individuals can still test positive for Treponemal pallidum antibodies after completing syphilis treatment. A Treponemal pallidum antibodies test alone cannot differentiate between a current or past infection. The results will be confirmed if performed in conjunction with an RPR test. Therefore, this Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) Test with Reflex to Quantitative RPR & Confirmatory Treponema Pallidum Antibodies is excellent for initial screening and confirmation.
If not appropriately treated, Syphilis may progress through three stages: primary syphilis, secondary syphilis, and tertiary syphilis, and cause severe damage to internal organs. Therefore, the signs and symptoms of Syphilis differ according to the stages of infection:
- During the primary syphilis stage of infection, one or more chancres may appear near the infected area, such as the penis, vulva, or vagina.
- As the infection progresses to the secondary syphilis stage, the infected individual may experience:
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Skin rash on the palms or the soles of the feet
- Skin growths near moist areas of the skin (mouth, armpits, genitals, and anus)
- Decreased appetite
- Extreme weight loss
- Once the infection reaches the tertiary syphilis stage, the individual may experience life-threatening symptoms, such as:
- Inflammatory masses, known as gumma, of the skin, bones, or internal organs
- Deep bone pain
- Heart damage
The syphilis infection may spread to the brain and nervous system at any stage, causing neurosyphilis. However, in rare cases, the disease may reach the eyes or ears, resulting in ocular syphilis or otosyphilis.
Individuals may order this test if they are experiencing syphilis symptoms, have an increased risk of infection, or for initial screening, confirmation, and continued monitoring. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you have significant concerns or questions about your recent lab results.
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