Fta-Abs Test: The Long-Term Effect Of Syphilis And Its Possible Dangers

Syphilis is a common sexually transmitted disease which is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which may prove itself as a very dangerous disease and potentially deadly if not treated correctly. It usually manifests through painless sores which can be easily transmitted through oral, anal or vaginal intercourse and may occasionally be spread through kissing as well. If the disease has been recently received from an infected partner, immediate assistance is needed in order to check if the disease is present in the victim’s body through an uncomplicated procedure called FTA-ABS.


FTA-ABS stands for Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody Absorption test, a non-invasive way of detecting syphilis through an easy blood taking process. One of the most common symptoms of syphilis are violent rashes, also referred to as a chancre, commonly found on the hands, back and genital area which are usually visible after approximately 3 to 90 days after direct sexual contact with the infected. If the symptoms start to be visible there should be an immediate FTA-ABS test to check for possible contamination with the bacteria as the FTA-ABS test can be taken in the first stages of the disease and so it can be treated easier. Syphilis may then spread throughout the body through the circulatory system and affect organs such as the liver and joints due to its flexible navigation methods throughout the body, which makes it extremely dangerous. The disease then moves into its latent stage where the disease’s symptoms seem to present signs of mending. After this, the final and most devastating stage of syphilis, the tertiary phase, that usually starts showing serious signs of damage after 3 to 15 years since the initial infection, which is now no longer infectious, but deadly. This phase splits into 3 different divisions; neurosyphilis, cardiovascular syphilis and gummatous syphilis. If any of those symptoms are discovered, require immediate assistance and ask for an FTA-ABS test to check if you are a victim of the Treponema pallidum bacterium:

Neurosyphilis: The bacterium has now entered the brain and spinal cord as a result of untreated disease for an extended period of time. The symptoms affect the nervous system and therefore may cause difficulty walking and numbness. The disease can also cause problems with thinking such as lack of focus, depression, strong headaches, seizures and incontinence.

Cardiovascular syphilis: The infection has spread through the bloodstream and stopped in the heart’s blood vessels which are now contaminated by the syphilis bacteria, beginning as an inflammation of the arteries. If this is not immediately treated, it can be a potentially life-threatening situation. The complications that follow are the narrowing of blood vessels around the heart which may lead to heart attack, damage to the heart valves which may lead to heart stoppage and aortic aneurysm, where the blood vessels become thin enough that they start breaking, causing internal bleeding and death.

Gummatous syphilis: Gummatous syphilis is a very painful result of the long development of syphilis. This branch from the tertiary stage of the disease is presented through soft, irritated and non-cancerous tissue on the skin but which can also be found in the liver, brain and other tissues. This is due to the response of the body to slow down the bacteria from spreading within the tissue. This usually happens after the immune system has failed to kill off the bacteria.

The exact origin of syphilis is challenged, the disease first becoming present in America and then spreading all over Europe through sailors, which once resulted in a major public health threat, causing serious long-term health problems to the victims, such as arthritis, brain damage, and blindness. Nowadays, the disease can be prevented through the use of a latex condom, which is effective for partially preventing the spreading of the disease. It can also be detected easily through a simple FTA-ABS examination.

The diagnosis of syphilis may be difficult during its early development, but is usually done through blood tests or visual inspection. The FTA-ABS test proves to be especially effective towards the detection of the disease. The process consists of an in-depth blood analysis for detecting antibodies for the Treponema pallidum bacteria, and if syphilis is present in the patient’s body, the FTA-ABS test will be positive, this confirming the possible infection.

The operation subsists in the collection of a blood sample through a sterile, medical needle which pinches the surface of the skin, leaving a small red mark at the level of the epidermis and a possible, slight sting sensation. The FTA-ABS test is safer and more reliable than any other methods of disclosure of syphilis as it makes the disease easy to be detected even from its earlier stages. The procedure of the FTA-ABS test is extracting bacteria from a rabbit testicular tissue, which is then spread over a fixed slide. The patient’s serum is mixed with the absorbent which removes antibodies that are not responsible for the fighting against the disease. The serum is added to the slide and if the patient is infected with syphilis, their antibodies will bind with the bacteria, this making the FTA-ABS test positive. If no reaction is visible during the FTA-ABS test, that means the patient doesn’t present signs of syphilis and is therefore healthy.

If the FTA-ABS test is taken in an early stage of the disease, and the results prove to be positive, it can be easily treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, but if ignored it may lead to serious complications which may cause permanent damage to the heart or nervous system. People who are under medication are required to repeatedly take blood tests in order to check if the disease has been completely cured. (The FTA-ABS test cannot be used for monitoring the treatment of syphilis as the test will always remain positive, even if the disease has been suitably treated.) The patients are also asked to abstain from sexual contact and are required to notify their previous sexual partners about the possible risk of getting the infection in order to be informed of the disease and be able to treat it at an early stage. There are no current home remedies recommended by specialists and therefore they shouldn’t be taken into consideration.

In Conclusion

Syphilis can be a potentially deadly disease if not treated accordingly through close examination and detection of the disease from its early stages through the FTA-ABS test which can save lives. It can be partially prevented by the use of condoms and it should not, under any circumstances, be neglected otherwise it will result in serious complications on tissue and neural levels, which may lead to severe outcomes that have a lower chance of being treated and so increasing the risk of death. The bacteria can be easily diagnosed from its early stages through a simple FTA-ABS test and from then taking the correct medication to eliminate the disease in the shortest time possible. If you present any signs of syphilis, then don’t hesitate to visit a gynecologist, otherwise the disease is going to develop throughout the body and lead to difficulties which will be harder to treat and more expensive than just curing it from an earlier stage. The FTA-ABS test proves to be very useful for checking if you are positive for syphilis and it can be done in just a few minutes that’s why an FTA-ABS test is a very easy way to verify if you have the disease or not.