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

Q. Do VDLR and FTA-ABS test results with reactive IgG for syphilis require treatment?

Answered by
Dr. Samer Sameer Juma Ali Altawil
and medically reviewed by Dr. Chithranjali Ravichandran
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 22, 2022 and last reviewed on: Aug 23, 2023

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 non-reactive. I have been in a relationship for eight years and asked my partner to get tested. The results were: non-reactive VDLR, reactive IgG, and non-reactive IgM. Neither my partner nor I ever had any visible symptoms, and we also never had treatment for syphilis. Should we go through the treatment? Could it be some cross-immunity? I talked to a doctor, and he said it looks like we may have a serological mark. He told us to repeat the VDLR every three months and follow along. I want a second opinion.

Kindly suggest me.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

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 done once every three to six months. Treatment should be started only if IgM is positive. If you have any more questions, please let me know.

Thank you.

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