The VDRL Blood test (Venereal Disease Research Laboratory ) screens for syphilis. It measures antibodies which your body may produce if you have come in contact with the bacteria Treponema pallidum. The bacterium infects by penetrating into the lining of the mouth or genital area which can causes syphilis. Often, a lab technician will use a blood sample to do the test. However, a sample of a spinal fluid can also be a specimen.
The VDRL Blood test doesn’t look for the bacteria that causes syphilis, instead, it checks for the antibodies your body makes in response to antigens produced by cells damaged by the bacteria. Antibodies are a type of protein produced by your immune system to fight off invaders like bacteria or toxins. Testing for these antibodies can let your doctors know whether you have syphilis.
Your health care provider may order this test if you have signs and symptoms of a sexually transmitted illness (STI). Syphilis screening is a routine part of prenatal care during pregnancy.This test is similar to the newer rapid plasma reagin (RPR) test.