Summary: Syphilis is an easily spread infection of humans caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. After years of decline in the United States, syphilis infections are again on the rise. This seminar reviews the pathology, epidemiology, and laboratory testing involved in a diagnosis of syphilis. New testing algorithms are discussed that may enhance detection of late-stage infections as well allow automation of the screening assay.
- Describe the progression of untreated infection with Treponema pallidum and the risk of undiagnosed or misdiagnosed cases of syphilis
- Understand the clinical utility of both treponemal and nontreponemal based tests
- Describe traditional as well as newer screening algorithms to identify patients infected with syphilis
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