The VDRL test is a screening test for syphilis. It measures substances, called antibodies, that can be produced in response to Treponema pallidum, the bacteria that causes syphilis.
The test is similar to the newer
Venereal disease research laboratory test
The test is usually performed on blood. The VDRL test can be performed on spinal fluid if syphilis (neurosyphilis) may be present in individual's brain.