Treponema serology (RPR + Elisa)
Treponema pallidum is the causative agent of a sexually transmitted disease, syphilis. Syphilis (lues or French disease) is spread through sexual contact, but can also be transmitted directly by blood.
It does not prevent childbirth, but in case of an infected mother, the child is also born infected due to contact with the birth canal. Without treatment, the disease occurs at different stages, each of which presents with characteristic skin symptoms.
The RPR (Rapid Plasma Reagin) assay detects IgG and IgM antibodies released against lipoid material from damaged cells and lipoid-like material released from spirochaetes. These antibodies are present 4-6 weeks after infection, then disappear from the serum after successful treatment of the infection.
The ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test is a laboratory method for detecting antibodies of a virus and a bacterium, or a specific antibody against a particular virus. Thus, the test does not detect the pathogen itself, but determines the activity of the enzyme associated with the antigen or antibody, therefore providing a point of reference to the amount of antibodies produced.