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Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody Absorption (FTA-ABS) on CSF

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Requisition Forms

Reference Details


Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody Absorption (FTA-ABS) to detect the presence of antibodiesto Treponema pallidum in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples.

Test Category:
Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Syphilis

CSF – minimum of 0.5 mL. The same CSF sample is used in the FTA-ABS on CSF test, the VDRL-CSF test and molecular detection by conventional PCR.

Collection Method:


Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Store samples refrigerated or frozen until shipped for testing. Ship frozen samples on dry ice, and refrigerated samples on wet ice

Transportation of Dangerous Goods:

Shipping of specimens shall be done by a TDG certified individual in accordance with TDG regulations. For additional information regarding classification of specimens for the purposes of shipping, consult either Part 2 Appendix 3 of the TDG Regulations or section 3.6.2 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations as applicable.

For additional guidance on the transport of infectious substances in other languages, please click on the link below.


Patient Criteria:

Suspected of syphilis infection.

Accompanying Documentation:

Completed Syphilis requisition form including sender lab name, address and telephone number. Patient identifier (specimen reference #), date of birth and sex. Date collected and test requested.


This test is done in conjunction with the VDRL-CSF test and molecular detection by conventional PCR.

Methods and Interpretation of Results:

See reference below.

Turnaround Time:

20 calendar days. Contact the laboratory prior to submission of urgent clinical specimens.

Phone #: (204) 789-2130 or (204) 789-6017
Fax: (204) 789-2018
  1. A Manual of Tests for Syphilis 9th Edition. Edited by S. A. Larsen, V. Pope, R. E. Johnson, E. J. Kennedy Jr. American Public Health Association. Washington, D.C. 1998.
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