Syphilis (Traditional) Testing Algorithm

Testing for Treponema pallidum, the causative agent for syphilis, can be done either using the traditional method or the newer reverse sequence method. Traditional testing detects active infection and is inexpensive and rapid. However, it can miss early primary or treated infections. An initial workup for syphilis using the traditional sequence includes rapid plasma regain (RPR) followed by confirmation by Treponema pallidum antibody.