Skip to content

Get the latest service status updates

Syphilis Antibodies


Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, spread through sexual contact. Which is important to test for and treat as the infection can cause a range of health problems if left untreated.

Antibodies are produced by the immune system when there is an infection in the body. Checking for syphilis specific antibodies in the body helps to identify an infection.

What might a low result mean?

A negative blood test means that it is likely that no infection is present. However, since antibodies can take a couple of weeks to develop in response to an infection, a negative result may be due to no evidence of the bacteria in the body at the time the test is taken. If you think you have been exposed, then repeat testing at a later date may be required.

For anyone at an increased risk of a syphilis infection, it is important to have regular tests to check for a possible infection.

What might a high result mean?

A positive syphilis IgM result indicates a current syphilis infection. IgG levels take longer to rise and are usually indicative of an infection in the past.