What is FTA-ABS Blood test And How To Prevent It

FTA-ABS blood test is an important part to determine syphills, here is what you need to know.

Written by: Tanya Srivastava Updated at: 2022-05-10 18:58

Acute bacterial sinusitis (ABS) is a common complication of viral upper respiratory tract infections commonly refereed to as the URI. This test is done routinely in order to confirm whether a positive screening test for syphilis (either VDRL or RPR) means you have a current syphilis infection. It may also be done when other syphilis tests are negative in nature in order to rule out a possible false-negative result. A negative or non-reactive result means that the person does not have a current or past infection with syphilis.

What is FTA-ABS Test?

A positive FTA-ABS is often the prime signal of a syphilis infection. This test result will remain positive all throughout the life's time even if syphilis has been adequately treated. Therefore, it cannot be used to monitor any treatment of syphilis or to determine if that person has active syphilis. Your FTA-ABS test result will be positive for the rest of your life, even after you've been treated. There are two more skin conditions which are known in the name of yaws and pinta that may cause a positive FTA-ABS test result. Sometimes women with lupus can have a false-positive results.

Syphilis is a chronic bacterial infection that can be transmitted through any kind of sexual intercourse and contact. Syphilis is a bacterial infection. Untreated syphilis can have serious health hazards for the pregnant person and the fetus as well. Pregnant women risk passing the infection on to their developing fetus. Doctors call this congenital syphilis, premature birth, and stillbirths. Babies who are born with congenital syphilis may not show evident symptoms straight away, but without treatment, further problems can develop within a few weeks after birth. The infection can affect multiple organs throughout the body of the child, which includes the brain, heart, eyes, ears, and even the bones.

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Who is at most risk of syphilis?

Anyone can contract syphilis. However, certain factors may increase your chances of contracting an infection. The following types of lot have an increased stance of contracting syphilis:

  • People who have sex without a barrier method, like a condom, with multiple partners
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who have HIV
  • People who have partnered with syphilis

Risks involved with taking the sample of blood

There is however only a little risk involved with having your blood taken, veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some specific people perhaps is more difficult than that from some other.

Some other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but they may include as the following:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
  • Multiple punctures to locate veins
  • Hematoma which is the blood accumulating under the skin
  • Infection which is a slight risk any time the skin is broken


Doctors usually treat syphilis in pregnant women with benzathine penicillin G. this treatment is about 98.2% effective in preventing congenital syphilis. The primary and secondary syphilis are quite  easy to treat with a penicillin injection. Penicillin is one of the most widely used antibiotics and is usually effective in treating syphilis. For the people who are allergic to penicillin will most likely be treated with some other antibiotic, such as:

  • Doxycycline
  • Ceftriaxone

If you have neurosyphilis, you’ll get daily a dose of penicillin intravenously. This will  very often require a brief hospital stay. The damage caused by late syphilis cannot be ever reversed. Although, the bacteria can be killed, but treatment will most likely focus on easing pain and discomfort not the permanent cure.

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Dr. Saarthak Bakshi Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of International Fertility Centre gives the best way to prevent syphilis is to practice safe sex. Use condoms during any type of sexual intercourse. Additionally, it also advised to:

  1. Use a dental dam (a square piece of latex) or condoms during oral sex.
  2. Avoid sharing sex toys.
  3. Get screened for STIs and talk with your partners about their results.
  4. Syphilis can also be transmitted through shared needles. Avoid sharing needles if using injected drugs.

Picture Credit- freepik.com


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