CDC releases syphilis testing recommendations

Amid a yearslong increase in syphilis cases, the CDC published new recommendations for syphilis testing in labs Feb. 8. 

The guidelines recommend using tests that detect both Treponema pallidum, the bacteria that causes the sexually transmitted infection, and find antibodies, which can differentiate between current and past infections. The CDC also plans to update the terminology of syphilis testing. 

The agency said the rationale behind the new recommendations is because of the nation's syphilis epidemic. In 2022, more than 207,000 cases were reported — an 80% increase from 2018. 

In the CDC's first recommendations on the laboratory testing for syphilis, the agency outlined processes for three types of tests, plus tips for specimen collection and storage. 

Access the guidelines here.

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