Syphilis Laboratory Information


CDC Laboratory Recommendations for Syphilis Testing, United States, 2024 – Syphilis testing recommendations for choosing among multiple testing methods, establishing standard operating procedures for collecting and processing specimens, interpreting test results for laboratory reporting, and counseling and treating patients for syphilis.

Treponema pallidum Requests by Commercial Companies — CDC’s Division of STD Prevention is making available a Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum (T. pallidum) strain propagated in rabbits for research and development purposes. The cultures are intended solely for companies developing and/or seeking FDA approval of syphilis diagnostic tests in the United States.

Spirochete Request For Training — CDC’s Division of STD Prevention offers T. pallidum spirochetes in aliquots of 0.5 ml – 1.0 ml for training on the use of dark field microscopy. This is offered specifically to public health laboratories and institutions within the United States for training purposes only. Please contact Dr. Allan Pillay at 404-639-2140 or to request live cryopreserved spirochetes. Be sure to include required information as outlined on the Spirochete Request for Training page.

Syphilis Serum Repository — CDC’s Division of STD Prevention and the Association of Public Health Laboratories have developed a Syphilis Serum Repository. The repository is composed of residual syphilis positive serum samples which may be requested to facilitate research and development of syphilis diagnostic tests. This section includes more information about the Syphilis Serum Repository, how it may be used, and the process to request specimens. For any questions about this form, please contact Dr. Allan Pillay at 404-639-2140 or

Neurosyphilis, Ocular Syphilis, and Otosyphilis — Healthcare providers with patients suspected of ocular syphilis can collect clinical specimens for molecular typing. For assistance with the collection procedure or shipment of samples, please contact Dr. Allan Pillay at 404-639-2140 or