Diagnostic laboratory for syphilis using different detection methods. Ultrasensitive tests for detection by PCR and rapid tests for syphilis antibodies.
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Sensitive syphilis test using PCR
The high sensitive of this test can reduce the window period until few days after exposure to the bacterium. Two tests in one: a blood sample and a sample from exudate/lesion are analyzed.
Rapid syphilis test in 20 min
This rapid test measures the antibodies generated by the organism against the bacteria. Before the window period you may not have created antibodies and therefore the test loses reliability, being an indirect diagnosis.
Non treponemal test or VDRL
This is a test that is not completely specific for syphilis. It is based on the reagent “VDRL Antigen”, a non-treponemal antigen formed by cardiolipin, cholesterol and lectin. It is an indirect detection means that looks for the presence of the bacteria by measuring the anti-lipid or reaginas antibodies that the body generates in response to the lipids released by damaged host cells in the first stage of Treponema pallidum infection. .
As it is not a completely specific test, it is only recommended to confirm the diagnosis in case of early or late syphilitic injury or to monitor the response to a treatment. As indicated by the manufacturer, this test does not show satisfactory sensitivity at all stages of the infection, varying between early (78%), secondary (99%), latent (96%) and late (71%), as is Impossible to know the status of a disease before analyzing it, Empireo recommends not using this test as the only diagnostic test. We have it because it is requested by some laboratories, it is requested by us, but as we indicated, we do not recommend it for its use, but it is understanding everything described above.
This Syphilis tests are available together with other STIs tests. Knows other test packs.
What is syphilis?
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacterium Treponema pallidum. Disease mainly affects sexually active adults between 20 and 35 years old.
How is syphilis spread?
Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal or oral .
Pregnant women with the disease can pass it to the babies at any stage of pregnancy is spoken in the case of congenital syphilis.
Syphilis spread from one person to another through direct contact with the bacteria that causes lesions called cankers . Upon contact , entering through damaged skin or mucosa healthy and quickly spread throughout the body via the bloodstream, so from early stages of infection is systemic , being able to diagnose blood .
Transmission occurs mainly from people who do not know they are infected , since you can have the disease without showing clinical symptoms.
Stages of disease
Syphilis has three stages, differentiated by the stage in which it is the bacteria in the body , and the symptoms it generates.
Primary stage of syphilis is usually marked by the appearance of a single sore (called a chancre) after a period of approximately 3 weeks of incubation (time in which the bacterium reproduces). The chancre is a painless blister, usually small firm, and round. Appears at the spot where syphilis entered the body, this phase is accompanied by inflammation frequently coming to the area of infection lymph nodes, usually in the groin.
For those in the primary or secondary stage, many of these sores are unrecognized cankers especially if they are located in the rectum or cervix.
Approximately one third of untreated people progress to secondary syphilis, which usually occurs in 2-8 weeks after the appearance of the first lesions, in some cases, may even still be present. Secondary syphilis is the stage in which the bacteria have spread into the bloodstream reaching its highest number.
Most common symptoms include rash, whose appearance can vary and often involves the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, in addition to lesions in the mouth, vagina and penis, swollen lymph nodes and fever. In addition to general symptoms such as fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and persistent pain in bones and passengers.
This is the most contagious stage of the disease and its resolution usually lasts from weeks to a year.
Finally the third stage remains asymptomatic latent phase, which can linger for years. This phase is reached by 33% of untreated patients . Signs and symptoms of secondary syphilis will resolve with or without treatment treatment but the infection will progress to the latent phase (tertiary) of the disease, if no treatment is administered.
This end of the pathology stage is characterized by the clinical manifestations caused by bacterial colonization of specific organs. Thus, it can affect the brain or central nervous system (neurosyphilis), cardiovascular system with inflammation of the aorta (aortitis or aneurysms), gummy syphilis (destructive lesions of the skin and bones).
Can syphilis be cured?
Syphilis can be cured with early treatment. Early diagnosis allows the introduction of antibiotic therapy , usually penicillin.
Once you have developed late lesions (tertiary syphilis), can present health problems long term despite therapy , so , again, the importance of a diagnosis in the early stages of disease, it is crucial.
What are effects of syphilis in pregnant woman and her baby?
Syphilis bacterium can infect the baby of a woman during pregnancy. Depending on how long a pregnant woman has been infected, viability of the fetus may be compromised. An infected baby may be born without signs and symptoms of the disease. However, if it is not being treated immediately , the baby may develop serious problems within a few weeks.
Generally untreated secondary syphilis during pregnancy is the cause of the transmission of the disease to the fetus (congenital syphilis). Conducting tests for syphilis on all pregnant women is a measure to reduce the risk of disease transmission to the fetus.
Is there a relationship between syphilis and HIV?
Cankers caused by syphilis make it easier to transmit and acquire HIV infection sexually. It is estimated that the risk of HIV infection is 2-5 times higher when syphilis is present.
Importance of PCR in diagnosis of syphilis
As described above, syphilis can present without apparent clinical manifestations. Thus, suspecting to have been infected, it is not advisable to all wait for the onset of symptoms , a possible consequence of this attitude , it is dropped in a late stage of the disease, with potentially serious conditions in the nervous system and circulatory systems.
Therefore, the realization of early diagnosis, as permitted PCR technique employed by EMPIREO, is vital. Early diagnosis allows to implement a simple treatment with antibiotics, but it can save us from serious future consequences.
Furthermore, positive cases in which a treatment is applied, it is advisable to perform a past exam a month of completion. Should ensure removal of bacteria, to prevent progression to asymptomatic latent syphilis.
PCR detection method as applied by EMPIREO, is particularly suitable for this purpose because of its high sensitivity.