Common "Fta-abs" queries answered by top doctors | iCliniq


The fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption or FTA-ABS test is a blood test that is used to check for the presence of antibodies to Treponema pallidum bacteria. This bacteria causes syphilis, but this test is used after performing other tests for syphilis, such as venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) and rapid plasma regain (RPR) tests. The fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption test is also used to test for other sexually transmitted infections or if pregnant.

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What do a reactive VDLR test and FTA-ABS test for syphilis indicate?

Query: Hello doctor, I recently took the VDLR test, which was reactive to 1:1 and non-reactive to 1:2. So I took the FTA-ABS test. The result was reactive for IgG and non-reactive for IgM. Every year I do the rapid blood tests (those that prick my finger to take a drop of blood), and they always come back ...  Read Full »

Dr. Samer Sameer Juma Ali Altawil

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I read your query and understand your concern. No, it would be best if you do not seek any treatment now. The serological tests showed no active disease as IgM is negative. IgG is positive because you got this infection before. It is recommended to have this test don...  Read Full »

What does the RPR titer of 1:2 mean?

Query: Hello doctor, This is regarding a syphilis test RPR (Rapid Plasma Reagin) ratio.  Read Full »

Dr. Atishay Bukharia

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Please post your query. Regards.   Read Full »

Do small lesion in anus suggesting syphilis needs immediate medical attention?

Query: Hello doctor, I have been having rashes on my hands, forearms, trunk, and feet for four weeks now. The rashes on my hands and feet have lesions. The rashes are not itchy, except for those with lesions. I also have a small wound (or sore) on my anus, which has been there for three weeks now. I believ...  Read Full »

Dr. Aleph

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Prior to the onset of rashes did you observe any lesion or wound on your penis? Or sexual encounter with someone who had such? May I ask questions about your sexual history? How many sexual partners have you had? Male or female? Are you aware of your partner's promiscu...  Read Full »

My FTA-ABS is reactive and VDRL test is non-reactive. What can be the reason?

Query: Hello doctor, I recently did an fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption test (FTA-ABS) test for syphilis. It showed reactive with a titer 1:1. But after a week and a half, I took a venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) test, and it was non-reactive. Now I am confused. The doctor was not so ...  Read Full »

Dr. Rakesh Kumar Bahunuthula

Answer: Hi, Welcome to Thanks for writing in, and I understand your concern. If FTA-ABS (fluorescent treponemal antibody test absorption) test is positive, it will remain positive for lifetime. It suggests that you have been infected with syphilis. It could have been in the past or present. Ho...  Read Full »

Should I go for treponemal test three years after sexual contact?

Query: Hi doctor, I have an sexually transmitted disease (STD) question and hope to have an STD specialist doctor to assist me. I had a sexual contact three years ago and only last month I went for (Venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) nontreponemal test) and is negative. I have read online that aft...  Read Full »

Dr. Sushil Kakkar

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Yes, sometimes many years after an infection with Treponema pallidum, venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) may turn negative. TPHA (Treponema pallidum hemagglutination) or FTA ABS (fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption test) would be confirmatory in that c...  Read Full »

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