Syphilis During Pregnancy and in Newborns

Indu S Nair

Abstract

Syphilis is a chronic and latent infection with clinically recognizable stages. As most cases may be asymptomatic, it can cause adverse outcomes in pregnant women, resulting in neonatal morbidity and mortality. Screening of all pregnant women for syphilis at the first antenatal visit is essential because spirochetes can cross the placenta at all times. The more recent the maternal infection, the more likely the fetus is affected. Congenital syphilis can be asymptomatic or with very subtle signs, and if not treated, it can result in severe sequelae. Benzathine penicillin is the drug of choice for preventing mother-to-child transmission and treating congenital syphilis.

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