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Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody (FTA), Serum

Updated

12/2/2016

Other Names Treponema pallidum Antibody; Syphilis; FTA-ABS (DS)
How to Order
Check the FTA-ABS (DS) box on the Virology/Immunology Test Request (Form 42)
Availability
All clients
Methodology
Indirect Fluorescent Antibody (IFA) Stain
Performed
Tuesdays on regular business days
Time to Reporting
5-7 working days after receipt of specimen
CPT Code
86780


Specimen Collection Details

Collection
One 7 ml red top tube or serum separator tube (SST)
Optimal Volume
Blood: 5 ml; Serum 1.0 ml
Minimum Volume
Blood: 3 ml; Serum 0.5 ml
Handling
After blood clots, keep specimen refrigerated until transport. DO NOT FREEZE. If possible remove the serum from the clot as soon as possible.
 
Transport
Transport at refrigerated temperatures (2-8° C) for receipt at the OSPHL within 5 calendar days of specimen collection.
Rejection Criteria
CSF specimens, specimens contaminated with bacteria, lipemic specimens, hemolytic specimens, specimens that have been frozen and thawed more than once, and specimens not able to be tested within 7 calendar days of specimen collection will be rejected.
 
Specimens are subject to the requirements of the OSPHL Specimen Submission Policy and Criteria, available at: http://bit.ly/SpecimenCriteria.
Comments
The FTA test is recommended for follow-up of reactive non-treponemal tests for syphilis (e.g. the RPR), and as a single test in patients suspected of late syphilis. Inconclusive final reports indicate the initial specimen submitted has been tested twice and cannot be interpreted as either reactive or nonreactive. If it is the second specimen submitted on a patient and the report is again inconclusive, it is impossible to state definitively that the patient does or does not have syphilitic infection.