Syphilis Serology

Serological testing for syphilis is provided by the Serology section. Treatment for sexually transmitted diseases is essential to providing public health for the citizens of Kansas. The statute also requires all women to be tested in their first trimester of pregnancy. Testing aids in the identification of those individuals in need of treatment, including their contacts.

Serum specimens received for syphilis testing undergo the following test(s):

  • Non-treponemal testing, used for screening: Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR). Screen specimens that are Non-reactive by RPR, will not receive Treponemal antibody confirmation testing, unless specifically requested on the Laboratory Specimen Submission Form (PDF).
  • Treponemal antibody confirmation testing used to confirm screen-test positives: Treponema pallidum Particle Agglutination (TP-PA).

All syphilis specimens received at the Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories (KHEL) must be received as cold (2 to 8°C) poured-off serum within 5 days of collection. Specimen kits are available to order from KHEL, Requisition for Specimen Kits by ordering the Mailing Cooler (Cold shipper). This kit includes an insulated mailer, screw-cap serum tubes, ice packs, and specimen transport bags. Alternatively, these items may be ordered separately in the "Other Health Supplies" section.

Follow the Serum Cold Shipper (PDF) guidelines for collection and handling requirements.