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what is syphilis?

It is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacteria called Treponema pallidum. The disease is characterized by four stages namely primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary. The treatment for it depends on what is the stage of the infection. It is always a challenge to diagnose its initial symptoms as it appears only in the form of a small painless sore called chancre. But it is very important to diagnose the infection as early as possible. This helps in preventing damage to major organs of the body. TPHA is one of the important diagnostic tests used for its detection. So what is TPHA? It is an abbreviation for Treponema pallidum hemagglutination assay.

what is a tpha test?

What is TPHA test? Treponema pallidum hemagglutination commonly known as TPHA is diagnostic test used to detect the dissolved amount of antibodies in the serum sample of a patient against the causative agents of syphilis. To be precise the TPHA test helps in the detection of Palladium antibodies via the hemagglutination method. The process involves sensitizing the red blood cells with T. palladium fragments. When exposed to the serum sample infected with syphilis the cells aggregate on the surface of the test dish.

what are the symptoms of syphilis infection?

The TPHA symptoms depend upon what stage of syphilis the patient is. The first is the primary stage that occurs only after a period of 3 to 4 weeks the person has contracted the bacteria. The initial symptoms begin with a small round sore that is seemingly painless. It can be transmitted if anyone comes in direct contact with the sore. During the secondary stage, the person may develop skin rashes and sore throat. Other than these some may also have fatigue, weight loss, aching joints and headache. The third stage of the disease is called the latent stage or the hidden stage. One may not find any noticeable symptoms at this stage, but the bacteria remain active inside the body. The last stage of the infection is called tertiary syphilis and is considered to be one of the most life-threatening stages. Some of the potential outcomes include memory loss, mental illness, blindness etc.

are there any preparations needed to undergo the tpha test?

There are no specific preparations required for the test, and it is a simple blood routine. If there be a requirement for fasting the doctor would give prior information of the same.

how is the tpha test done?

The TPHA blood test is a simple blood routine and does not require any specific preparations. A sample for the test is drawn by injecting the needle into a vein in your arm. Later it is sent to the lab for further analysis. In the lab, the TPHA test procedure is carried out by using a test card with three wells.

In the first one 10μL of the patients, the serum sample is added. Next 190 μL of the diluent is added and mixed using a micropipette.

In the second well 75μL of the control cells.

In the third 75μL of the test cells are added. After this 25μL of diluted serum is added on each of the wells and the contents are mixed thoroughly. The plate is then incubated for 45-60 mins in room temperature away from direct sunlight. Running a positive and negative control along with the test serum is mandatory.

how to interpret the tpha test results?

The TPHA test meaning can be interpreted by the agglutination intensity that could range from - to 4+. Understanding these cases gives a clear picture of the TPHA positive results.

The TPHA lab test positive results could be interpreted as follows

1. It is 4+ if there is a uniform mat of the cells covering the entire well.

2. It is 3+ if most of the well is covered by a uniform mat of cells.

3. A lesser density mat surrounded by a slight ring(+2) is another scenario of a TPHA test positive 

4. The intensity of the mat decreases and is surrounded by a denser ring with a distinctly open centre.

If there is a small clear centre and the cells are settled to a compact bottom, the result can be interpreted as TPHA negative. In case of a TPHA test negative or the results confer to the TPHA test normal range there is no further investigation required. But in case, of an intermediate positive result, MHATP and FTA-ABS test are prescribed.

when do you need us?

The initial stages of syphilis generally go undetected causing troubles later. But if you suspect any of syphilis symptoms get tested immediately. The Portea lab offers a range of diagnostic tests with the samples being collected directly from your home. Book your home visit for sample collection by a call, email, or on our website.

how can we help?

We at Portea have the best team of technicians and doctors who carry out the TPHA investigations with much precision and accuracy. The samples for the test are collected from your home and results delivered on the e-mail.

Conclusion

If your test results come out to be positive TPHA disease it is imperative to undergo the complete treatment. The TPHA positive treatment requires you to complete the full antibiotics course even if the symptoms subside. Failing to do so can trigger a relapse.