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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Sexually Transmitted Bacterial Infections (by ASCLS). Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Biological False Positives

  • Occur in 1%--2% of the U.S. population
  • Seen primarily in:
    • Persons who have lupus erythematosis, leprosy, mononucleosis, malaria
    • Other treponematoses such as pinta, yaws, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, relapsing fever
    • HIV
    • Persons who abuse drugs
    • Viral pneumonia
    • Vaccinations
    • Pregnancy
    • Rickettsial infection
    • Tuberculosis
    • Bacterial endocarditis
  • May be positive or negative in treponemal tests