Syphilis

Common Name(s)

Syphilis

Syphilis is a bacterial infection most often spread by sexual contact. It begins as a painless sore typically on the genitals, rectum or mouth. It can also be transmitted or passed to another person by kissing an affected individual with an open or active sore or lesion. Syphilis occurs in stages but the symptoms vary and don't always occur in the same order. The sore is often in a hidden area so may not be noticed and usually heals itself within 6 weeks, this stage is called primary syphilis. Secondary syphilis occurs within a few weeks after the original sore heals. Symptoms often include a whole body rash which covers the palms of hands and soles of feet as well. It is usually not itchy and sometimes fever, sore throat and muscle aches occur as well. These symptoms may heal within a few weeks or come and go for up to a year. If a person is not treated for syphilis, the condition then goes into a latent (or hidden) phase which can last for many years. At this point, symptoms may never return or in 15-30% of untreated people, the disease will progress to the late stage (or tertiary stage). The disease can then damage the brain, heart, nerves, eyes, liver, bones and joints. Risk factors include having multiple sexual partners, being HIV positive, and recreational drug use. Syphilis can be detected through a blood test, fluid sample from the sore itself, or by spinal tap which takes a sample of fluid from the spinal cord. When diagnosed in the early stages, syphilis can easily be cured with the antibiotic, penicillin. As the disease progresses, other treatments may be needed. Since it is possible to be infected with syphilis and not know it, all pregnant women should be tested for the disease since it can be passed to an unborn child and can cause serious, even life-threatening problems at birth (please also visit: Congenital syphilis).

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Syphilis" for support, advocacy or research.

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The STD Project

Established in April of 2012 during STD Awareness Month, The STD Project is a multi-award-winning independent website and progressive movement eradicating STD stigma by facilitating and encouraging awareness, education, and acceptance through story-telling and resource recommendations. We are taking steps toward modern-day sexual health and prevention by advocating for conscientious and informed decisions.

Last Updated: 11 Jul 2016

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General Support Organizations

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Syphilis" for support, advocacy or research.

Logo
The STD Project

Established in April of 2012 during STD Awareness Month, The STD Project is a multi-award-winning independent website and progressive movement eradicating STD stigma by facilitating and encouraging awareness, education, and acceptance through story-telling and resource recommendations. We are taking steps toward modern-day sexual health and prevention by advocating for conscientious and informed decisions.

http://www.thestdproject.com/

Last Updated: 11 Jul 2016

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General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Syphilis" returned 1911 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Hidden dangers-prevalence of blood borne pathogens, hepatitis B, C, HIV and syphilis, among blood donors in Sierra Leone in 2016: opportunities for improvement: a retrospective, cross-sectional study.
 

Author(s): Emmanuel Edmond Yambasu, Anthony Reid, Philip Owiti, Marcel Manzi, Mariama Jeanne Sia Murray, Ama Kyerewaa Edwin

Journal:

 

Transmissible blood-borne infections are a serious threat to blood transfusion safety in West African countries; and yet blood remains a key therapeutic product in the clinical management of patients. Sierra Leone screens blood donors for blood-borne infections but has not implemented ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Secondary syphilis presenting as a corymbiform syphilide: case report and review.
 

Author(s): Walter de Araujo Eyer-Silva, Viviane Primo Basílio de Souza, Guilherme Almeida Rosa da Silva, Fernando Vieira Brasil, Alessandra Dos Santos Portela, Ricardo de Souza Carvalho, Rogerio Neves-Motta, Carlos José Martins

Journal:

 

It is essential that healthcare providers are familiar with the full spectrum of clinical presentations of syphilis. A rare manifestation of secondary syphilis is the corymbiform (or corymbose) arrangement, in which a central greater papule is surrounded by smaller satellite lesions. ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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An unusual giant serpiginous lesion of secondary syphilis.
 

Author(s): Xavier Grimaux, Rida El Ayoubi, Christian Le Clec'h

Journal: An Bras Dermatol. ;93(4):590-591.

 

Syphilis is a worldwide sexually transmitted infection caused by Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. Its association with other STIs, including HIV, demands early diagnosis and immediate treatment of patients. We herein report an unusual serpiginous form of secondary syphilis.

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Syphilis" returned 102 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Rapid diagnostic test for antenatal syphilis screening in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
 

Author(s): Carmen Phang Romero Casas, Marrissa Martyn-St James, Jean Hamilton, Daniel S Marinho, Rodolfo Castro, Sue Harnan

Journal:

 

To undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the test performance including sensitivity and specificity of rapid immunochromatographic syphilis (ICS) point-of-care (POC) tests at antenatal clinics compared with reference standard tests (non-treponemal (TP) and TP ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Syphilis of the lumbar spine: A case report and review of the literature.
 

Author(s): Ruofeng Yin, Liping Wang, Tinglong Zhang, Baolin Zhao

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Dec;96(50):e9098.

 

Tertiary syphilis can manifest as gummatous disease, but gumma of the spine has been extremely rarely reported.

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Syphilis in the Americas: a protocol for a systematic review of syphilis prevalence and incidence in four high-risk groups, 1980-2016.
 

Author(s): Ken Kitayama, Eddy R Segura, Jordan E Lake, Amaya G Perez-Brumer, Catherine E Oldenburg, Bethany A Myers, Paria Pourjavaheri, Chinomnso N Okorie, Robinson L Cabello, Jesse L Clark

Journal:

 

Syphilis infection has recently resurfaced as a significant public health problem. Although there has been a tremendous amount of research on the epidemiology of syphilis, there has been limited work done to synthesize the extensive body of research and systematically estimate patterns ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

There are currently no related results available in GeneReviews.

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Cefixime for Alternative Syphilis Treatment
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Syphilis; Early Syphilis

 

Last Updated: 4 Sep 2018

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Lumbar Puncture and Syphilis Outcome
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Syphilis

 

Last Updated: 12 Dec 2017

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Last Updated: 18 Sep 2017

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