Syphilis Testing FAQs: CDC Guidance on Reverse Screening

With the advent of newer, sensitive automated syphilis assays, many labs have opted to automate the initial screen by testing first with a treponemal assay followed by testing reactive samples with a nontreponemal assay. This approach has been referred to as the “reverse screening algorithm."

To help you determine the approach to syphilis testing for your laboratory and understand the use of both types of serologic assays, this FAQ is designed to clarify reverse screening algorithm and the CDC’s guidance for screening.

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