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 1932 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Factors Contributing to Congenital Syphilis Cases - New York City, 2010-2016.
 

Author(s): Jennifer Sanderson Slutsker, Robin R Hennessy, Julia A Schillinger

Journal:

 

Congenital syphilis occurs when syphilis is transmitted from a pregnant woman to her fetus; congenital syphilis can be prevented through screening and treatment during pregnancy. Transmission to the fetus can occur at any stage of maternal infection, but is more likely during primary ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Syphilis reinfection is associated with an attenuated immune profile in the same individual: a prospective observational cohort study.
 

Author(s): Chris Kenyon, Kara Krista Osbak, Tania Crucitti, Luc Kestens

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Ascertaining if the clinical and immunological response to repeat syphilis differs from that in initial syphilis may assist in designing optimal syphilis screening strategies and vaccine design.

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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

[A brief history of syphilis. The disease through the art and the artist].
 

Author(s): H Jedidi, C Laverdeur, F Depierreux-Lahaye, A Beckers

Journal: Rev Med Liege. 2018 Jul;73(7-8):363-369.

 

Considering its strong symbolic connotations and its rich history, syphilis could be regarded as the perfect example of venerian disease. It could also be seen as a representative disease of the whole medical history and the evolution of both medical ways of thinking and curing. In ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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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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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

There are currently no related results available in GeneReviews.

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

 
 
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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: 15 Nov 2018

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