Do emergency rooms do swab tests for syphilis?
My boyfriend had 2 painless sores on his genitals, so he decided to go to the emergency room. They gave him a swab test & then sent him home with an antibiotic while he waited for the results. They came back negative for everything, but I didn't see a syphilis test anywhere on the results sheet. I was also seen in the emergency room regarding different problems, & they gave me a FULL lab work up, including urine tests, & said my blood & urine were 100% normal so I didn't think to ask them to test me. Do you have to specifically request that testing be done? I figured they would test you automatically if sores were found, considering how high the infection risk is where I live. I will be getting tested regardless I'm just curious as to how this works with emergency rooms.
- Lab GuyLv 68 months agoFavourite answer
Lesion testing for syphilis is usually performed by public health laboratories which require specialized testing not normally done in regular hospitals. Some hospitals do presumptive testing but it isn't reliable for confirmatory testing that requires specialized sera. One also requires a special microscope called a dark field microscope that most labs do not have. One looks for motile bacteria that would be consistent with the syphilis bacteria and then use an antisera that stops its motility of the bacteria for identification. It needs to be a freshly collected specimen and so sending out a sample to public health is not acceptable. Public health departments collect and carry out the exam.
It would be highly unusual to have a regular hospital report out a direct examination of lesions for syphilis.
Primary syphilis lesions do not test positive with blood tests for syphilis as those are antibody tests that requre weeks to months to develop. With successful treatment of primary syphilis lesions blood work would never turn positive. Blood tests are for secondary syphilis once it passes the primary lesion phase.
Testing for primary syphilis is unique compared to other samples required for STI testing.
- David BLv 78 months ago
The screening test is called a RPR (Rapid Plasma Reagent)
The more specific is called a FTA-ABS
These two are blood tests and may take weeks to get back.
The swab is looked at under the microscope with special stains looking for spirochetes.
- PatriciaLv 78 months ago
he can go to a clinic which specifically tests for STDs. They are everywhere.
- Anonymous8 months ago