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Treponema Pallidum Haemagglutination Assay (TPHA)

Treponema Pallidum Haemagglutination Assay (TPHA)

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Treponema Pallidum Hemagglutination Test is used for diagnosis of Syphilis which is a sexually transmitted disease. This test detects the dissolved amount of antibodies in serum sample of a patient against the causative agents of syphilis. TPHA test detects Pallidum antibodies via the hemagglutination method. This process involves sensitizing the red blood cells with T.pallidum fragments. When exposed to the serum sample infected with syphilis, the cells aggregate on the surface of the test dish. It is used for both semi-quantitative and qualitative detection of anti-treponemal antibodies. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease, caused by bacteria called Treponema pallidum. The disease is characterized by four stages namely Primary, Secondary, latent and Tertiary. The treatment depends on the stage of infection. It is always challenging to diagnose Syphilis, because the initial presentation is with a painless sore called chancre. The early diagnosis is helpful to prevent damage to major organs of the body. After the infection, syphilis bacteria may remain inactive for years and become active again.

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Treponema Pallidium Hemagglutination

Frequently asked questions

Yes, pregnant women can undergo the Treponema Pallidum Hemagglutination Test. Many times, doctors specifically recommend this test during pregnancy as syphilis can be easily passed on to the unborn child from their mother. Syphilis in pregnant mothers can also lead to stillbirth, miscarriage and even death of the baby after a few hours of birth. If the VDRL test report is positive, the pregnant lady will have to go for the Treponema Pallidum Hemagglutination test. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the transmission of the infection to the unborn baby.โ€ฏ

You should always contact your doctor to interpret the results of the Treponema Pallidum Hemagglutination Test. The TPHA test meaning can be interpreted by the agglutination intensity, that could range from โ€“ to 4+ (Negative TPHA with a small clear center and cells settled to a compact bottom, to uniform mat of the cells covering the entire wall). If the Treponema Pallidum Hemagglutination result is positive, antibodies that are produced against the syphilis infection antigens have been detected in your blood, and hence you must visit your doctor and start the treatment.โ€ฏHowever, false positive and negative test findings can occur, and all test reports must be presented to a doctor to co-relate clinically. Besides, this test is also helpful for monitoring following syphilis therapy, to ensure adequate compliance with the treatment regimen.

Treponema Pallidum Hemagglutination Test is completely risk free, the most common risks posed include discomfort and bruising at the location where needle is inserted, these issues are minimal and disappear immediately after the tests are completed. Also, because of the needle prick to get a blood sample, a person may have increased bleeding, hematoma development, bruising or inflammation at the site of needle penetration in extremely rare circumstances.

There are a few instances, where false positive and false negative TPHA tests can be seen. False negative results are possible in patients with early and late stage Syphilis. False positive test can be seen in Leprosy, Infectious Mononucleosis, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis โ€“ B and Connective Tissue Diseases.

The TPHA test is a screening test done to check the presence of antibodies. Once infected, these antibodies persist in the blood for the rest of the personโ€™s life. Non-treponemal antibodies, on the other hand, normally disappear after around 3 years in a well treated person. Therefore, a positive treponemal test (such as RPR) to distinguish between a current infection (or reinfection) and one that happened before and was effectively treated. โ€ฏ

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