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How to identify (recognize) syphilis

In order to make a diagnosis of syphilis, it is not enough to only have symptoms or positive test results. Diagnostics is composed of a set of information about the patient (anamnesis), clinical manifestations and laboratory tests.

The medical history includes information about the presence of casual sexual relations in the past, the syphilis of relatives and the presence of other pathologies.

How to recognize the symptoms of the disease

How to recognize syphilis, it is important to know everyone to be able to prevent infection or time to begin treatment, if it actually happened.

Sometimes the symptoms of syphilis can be accompanied by an increase of one group or all of the lymph nodes, and low grade or even high fever. Upon detection of one or more symptoms is important as quickly as possible to come on reception to the dermatologist.

Feature that allows you to define this pathology, among many other skin rashes, is painless lesions and the complete absence of itching.

How to check for syphilis

Of course, from the mere external signs accurate determination of syphilis impossible. Moreover, very often the infection is latent, i.e. without any symptoms. Then learn about the presence of the disease is possible only through laboratory diagnosis. It includes:

  • microscopy;
  • serological tests;
  • histological examination.


Identification of the pathogen, i.e., Treponema pallidum under a microscope the material taken from the patient, helps to accurately determine the infection. But not all environments of an organism the causative agent feels equally comfortable, so it is important to know where to look. So, most often taken a swab directly from the surface sifilide (the chancre or secondary lesions).

It uses a special laboratory-loop, which from the surface of the lesion is removed the crust and gain a small amount of exudate. Further, the exudate is applied to a glass slide and view dark-field microscope. If the drug has at least a few characteristic spiral microbes, to determine the syphilis is not difficult. Thus, the fresh lesions, the greater the probability of detecting Treponema.

If no rashes on the body of a patient, examines seminal fluid, vaginal mucus, milk in nursing mothers, or even the punctates from lymph nodes or internal organs. In these environments, and tissues in the presence of the disease Treponema pallidum is detected most often. At the same time in the blood, the sweat, the urine and the saliva of live bacteria is difficult to detect.


Serological tests based on the detection in serum of antibodies to the pathogen. They identify as a fresh infection, and previous syphilis.

Very often, even after complete cure of serological tests still remain positive, indicating the presence of immunity to Treponema.

Among these studies are distinguished as non-specific (Wasserman reaction), and specific tests (ELISA, RIF, RIBT, PCR).

Despite the fact that the Wassermann reaction (RW) is used to diagnose syphilis are the most widely, it often gives false positive results (for example when the patient has rheumatoid arthritis). Therefore, on its basis it is impossible to verify the presence of this infection. For accurate results, better use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or reaction immunofluorescence.

Histological examination

If microscopy and immune response not given a clear answer, finally to learn about the presence or absence of an infection is histology. For this the patient through the biopsy is taken punctate of lymph node or the material of the bump or gum in tertiary syphilis. Biopsy of preparing a slice that is stained with special dyes. Then it will microscopist to find the causative organism or traces of it stay in the fabric.