Overview of Syphilis Diagnostics

​​Free, high quality training at your convenience


This series of free, interactive modules, developed by APHL in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, promotes a basic understanding of the serologic methods used in the laboratory to diagnose a syphilis infection. Designed for laboratorians at all levels of experience, each module in the series is complimented by references and resources. Modules are available in PDF format for use in laboratory training programs.

Users are encouraged to view the modules as frequently as needed.

Background and History

Online | PDF

Run time: 15 minutes
Presenter: Susie Zanto
This module presents an overview of syphilis diagnostics, the background and history of syphilis, epidemiology of syphilis and challenges with diagnostics.


Serologic Assays and Algorithms

Online | PDF

Run time: 15 minutes
Presenter: Susie Zanto
This module provides a brief overview of the serologic assays, algorithms, and considerations for choosing the correct algorithm for your laboratory.

Case Studies


This module contains a set of eight interactive cases studies that enable the viewer to practice interpreting syphilis diagnostic results when used in both the traditional and the reverse syphilis algorithms. 



APHL sincerely thanks all who contributed their time and subject matter expertise to develop and produce these courses.

Content Development:

Patricia Armour
Southen Nevada Public Health Laboratory
George Dizikes
Knoxville Regional Laboratory, Tennessee Division of Laboratory Services
Yetunde Fakile
Laboratory Reference Research Branch (LRRB), CDC/DSTDP
Peter Leone
University of North Carolina
Jane Schwebke
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Richard Steece
Tennessee Division of Laboratory Services
Anthony Tran
NYC Bureau of the Public Health Laboratory
Susie Zanto
Montana DPHHS Laboratory Services Bureau

This project was 100% funded with federal funds. The training series was supported by Cooperative Agreement # U60HM000803 funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC or the Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (IP), Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services (OSELS), National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STDs and TB Prevention (PS), National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-borne, and Enteric Diseases (CK), National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response (CTPER).