ToRCH and Syphilis

ToRCH and Syphilis
 
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Syphilis is part of the ToRCH panel (falling under Other/Special ID) but deserves special diagnostic consideration. Syphilis infections are on the rise in the U.S., and untreated cases may result in serious complications.1


Those at highest risk for syphilis infection include:

  • Sexual contacts of syphilis-infected partners
  • Babies born to mothers with untreated syphilis
  • Individuals who engage in high-risk sexual behavior, include male-to-male sex, multiple partners, unprotected sex, and sex with partners with sexually-transmitted diseases


The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force highlights the following groups in their recommendations on who should be tested for syphilis:

  • All pregnant women should be tested at their first prenatal visit. For women in high-risk groups, many organizations recommend repeat serologic testing in the third trimester and at delivery.
  • Persons at increased risk because of high-risk sexual activities include commercial sex workers, persons who exchange sex for drugs, those with other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, and contacts of persons with active syphilis.


There are two main types of laboratory tests for the syphilis bacteria:

  • Nontreponemal tests are based on the detection of antiphospholipid antibodies (IgG and IgM) formed by the host in response to the lipoidal material released by damaged host cells and from the treponeme as well.
  • Treponemal tests are based on the detection of T. pallidum–specific antigens.


The ADVIA Centaur® Syphilis assay is a treponemal test that can be used as the first assay, or reverse screen. The assay offers reduced overhead, increased volume, and faster TAT through automation, along with decreased opportunity for human error. To learn more, click the link at the right to download the assay specifications sheet.


If you are interested in adding syphilis testing to your ADVIA Centaur system menu, please contact the Inside Sales Department at (800) 242-3233, option 3.


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1http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats13/tables/1.htm