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How is syphilis diagnosed?

Usually, doctors first suspect syphilis if a person has the characteristic symptoms like a sore or rash. Then doctors will usually perform a blood test that analyzes levels of certain antibodies that fight syphilis infection. In some cases, doctors may remove a sample of skin cells from a sore to analyze under a microscope. If tertiary syphilis (the third stage of the disease) is suspected, doctors may perform a spinal tap in which a sample of spinal fluid is taken to be analyzed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.