fluorescent treponemal antibody-absorption test
medical dictionary


A sensitive and specific serologic test for syphilis. It is more specific than the VDRL assay.

The patient's serum is diluted to remove non-specific antibodies and then mixed on a glass slide with Nichol's strain of Treponema pallidum. If antibodies are present in the patient's serum they bind to the antigen and the bound antibodies are detected with fluoresceinated antihuman gamma-globulin antibody.

Synonyms: FTA-ABS test.

Acronym: FTA-ABS test

(12 Sep 2002)