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.

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.

Last Updated: 11 Jul 2016

View Details

 

General Support Organizations

Not finding the support you need? Show General Support Organizations

 
 
Top

How do you compare to others with this condition?

Privately answer questions about your health. Let resources, you select, come to you.

Anonymously share and see how your answers compare with others with this condition while privately providing key pieces of information to medical researchers, disease advocacy groups, and others ONLY YOU select to help speed up cures and better alternatives.

 
 

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

View Details

 

General Support Organizations

Not finding the support you need? Show General Support Organizations

 
 
 
 
Top

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 1807 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Screening for HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis on dried blood spots: A promising method to better reach hidden high-risk populations with self-collected sampling.
 

Author(s): Inge H M van Loo, Nicole H T M Dukers-Muijrers, Rosalie Heuts, Marianne A B van der Sande, Christian J P A Hoebe

Journal:

 

Many people at high risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), e.g., men who have sex with men (MSM), are not optimally reached by current sexual health care systems with testing. To facilitate testing by home-based sampling or sampling in outreach setting we evaluated dried ...

Last Updated: 20 Oct 2017

Go To URL
The current status of syphilis prevention and control in Jiangsu province, China: A cross-sectional study.
 

Author(s): Yuan-Fang Chen, Jian-Ping Ding, Hong-Jing Yan, Jing Lu, Ping Ding, Guo-Hong Chen, Jian-Jun Li, Xi-Ping Huan, Hai-Tao Yang, Wei-Ming Tang, Geng-Feng Fu

Journal:

 

To analyze the midterm evaluation data from the National Syphilis Prevention and Control Plan (2010-2020) and evaluate the current status of syphilis prevention and control in Jiangsu province, China.

Last Updated: 24 Aug 2017

Go To URL
The prevalence and incidence of active syphilis in women in Morocco, 1995-2016: Model-based estimation and implications for STI surveillance.
 

Author(s): Aziza Bennani, Amina El-Kettani, Amina Hançali, Houssine El-Rhilani, Kamal Alami, Mohamed Youbi, Jane Rowley, Laith Abu-Raddad, Alex Smolak, Melanie Taylor, Guy Mahiané, John Stover, Eline L Korenromp

Journal:

 

Evolving health priorities and resource constraints mean that countries require data on trends in sexually transmitted infections (STI) burden, to inform program planning and resource allocation. We applied the Spectrum STI estimation tool to estimate the prevalence and incidence ...

Last Updated: 24 Aug 2017

Go To URL

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 93 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Comparison of efficacy of treatments for early syphilis: A systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and observational studies.
 

Author(s): Hong-Ye Liu, Yan Han, Xiang-Sheng Chen, Li Bai, Shu-Ping Guo, Li Li, Peng Wu, Yue-Ping Yin

Journal:

 

Parenteral penicillin is the first-line regimen for treating syphilis, but unsuitable for some patients due to penicillin allergy and lacking health resources. Unfortunately, the efficacy of penicillin alternatives remains poorly understood. This study aimed to assess the efficacy ...

Last Updated: 28 Jun 2017

Go To URL
A double-edged sword: does highly active antiretroviral therapy contribute to syphilis incidence by impairing immunity to Treponema pallidum?
 

Author(s): Michael L Rekart, Wilfred Ndifon, Robert C Brunham, Jonathan Dushoff, Sang Woo Park, Sanjana Rawat, Caroline E Cameron

Journal: Sex Transm Infect. 2017 Aug;93(5):374-378.

 

Recently, the world has experienced a rapidly escalating outbreak of infectious syphilis primarily affecting men who have sex with men (MSM); many are taking highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for HIV-1 infection. The prevailing hypothesis is that HAART availability and ...

Last Updated: 17 Jan 2017

Go To URL
Treponema pallidum, the syphilis spirochete: making a living as a stealth pathogen.
 

Author(s): Justin D Radolf, Ranjit K Deka, Arvind Anand, David Šmajs, Michael V Norgard, X Frank Yang

Journal: Nat. Rev. Microbiol.. 2016 12;14(12):744-759.

 

The past two decades have seen a worldwide resurgence in infections caused by Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum, the syphilis spirochete. The well-recognized capacity of the syphilis spirochete for early dissemination and immune evasion has earned it the designation 'the stealth ...

Last Updated: 10 Oct 2016

Go To URL
 
 
Top

Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

There are currently no related results available in GeneReviews.

There are currently no related results available in Genetic Testing Registry.

 
 
Top

Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Lumbar Puncture and Syphilis Outcome
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Syphilis

 

Last Updated: 24 May 2017

Go to URL

Last Updated: 18 Sep 2017

Go to URL

Last Updated: 4 Aug 2016

Go to URL