Treponema pallidum (diagnosis of neurosyphilis)

Which test do we use?

In case of suspicion of neurosyphilis and the presence of anti-treponemal antibodies in serum, TPPA will be performed on cerebrospinal fluid and serum, regardless of the RPR result.

An additional RPR assay on cerebrospinal fluid will only be performed when the TPPA result of cerebrospinal fluid was found to be reactive.

Sampling instructions

The following samples will need to be taken:

  • In case of suspected neurosyphilis: cerebrospinal fluid.


  • Cerebrospinal fluid: min. 200µl.

Please ensure that all samples are identified with a unique number and that the corresponding request form is included in the shipment.

Use the request form.

Storage conditions

If possible, send the samples as soon as possible to the ITM.

  • Cerebrospinal fluid can be stored at 2-8°C for max. 4 days and need to be sent to the ITM at room temperature as soon as possible.
  • In case the sample needs to be stored for a longer period, you can store it at -18°C and they will need to be shipped frozen (using dry ice).

Important advice

Please use the request form.


When requested as soon as possible and at least 1x / week.

Reference values


Delivery time of the result

On average:

TPPA: 3 days
RPR: 2 days



ISO 15189 – BELAC 147-MED


Treponema TPPA:                         22590-4

Treponema RPR:                           31147-2

Treponema TPPA (CSF):               51475-2

Laatste wijziging op: 13/07/2023