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Congenital syphilis in Italy: a multicentre study
  1. Elisabetta Tridapalli1,
  2. Maria Grazia Capretti1,
  3. Maria Letizia Bacchi Reggiani2,
  4. Mauro Stronati3,
  5. Giacomo Faldella1,
  6. The Italian Neonatal Task Force of Congenital Syphilis for The Italian Society of Neonatology – Collaborative Group
  1. 1Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, S Orsola-Malpighi General Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  2. 2Cardiology Unit, S Orsola-Malpighi General Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  3. 3Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Elisabetta Tridapalli, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, S Orsola-Malpighi General Hospital, Via Massarenti 11, 40138 Bologna, Italy; elisabetta.tridapalli{at}aosp.bo.it

Abstract

Objective To study the prevalence of congenital syphilis and its risk factors in Italy.

Study design Prospective study from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007. Data on mother–child pairs were collected for every syphilis seropositive mother.

Results Maternal syphilis seroprevalence at delivery was 0.17%. 207 infants were born to 203 syphilis seropositive mothers. In 25 newborns it was possible to diagnose congenital syphilis (20/100 000 live births). Maternal risk factors included age <20 years, no antenatal care and no adequate treatment. The infected babies were more often preterm or weighed <2000 g at birth.

Discussion Many syphilis seropositive mothers were foreign born but the risk of an infected newborn was not higher in foreign-born than in Italian seropositive women. The significant factors were lack of antenatal screening and inadequate maternal treatment.

Conclusion Syphilis is a re-emerging infection in Italy. Prevention strategies should include antenatal serological tests for all pregnant women and treatment for infected mothers.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • The Italian Neonatal Task Force of Congenital Syphilis for The Italian Society of Neonatology – Collaborative Group: Auriti C (Roma Bambin Gesù); Balata A (Sassari); Barera G (Milano S Raffaele); Bennato E (Lecco); Berardi A (Modena); Bolognesi S (Rimini); Bonomi A (Ivrea); Boulos F (Isola della Scala); Brambilla C (Milano Niguarda); Branchi M (Sondrio); Cabiati G (Terni); Caddia V (Montebelluna); Calzetti G (Belluno); Campanile A (Bentivoglio); Cataldo P (Nicosia); Cavagna R (Saronno); Chiarolini A (Alghero); Ciccia M (Bologna Maggiore); Ciccotti R (Roma S Filippo Neri); Ciofalo A (Palermo Osp Bambini); Contiero R (Ferrara); Corona G (Messina); Corso G (Bari); Costa L (Cagliari); Coviello C (S Giovanni Rotondo); Cristofori G (Mantova); Crivellaro C (Chioggia e Piove Sacco); Cucchi G (Legnano); Danese G (Matera); Da Riol R (Udine); Decembrino L (Pavia); Delogu A (Cuneo); Del Vecchio A (Desenzano); Da Riol Rosalia (Udine); De Sanctis L (Torino RM); Di Chiara G (Como); Di Comite A (Pavia); Di Grande E C (Sassuolo); D'onofrio A M (S Severo); Faccia P (L'Aquila); Ferrari D (Cremona); Fortunati P (Verona); Gabriella T L (Catania Garibaldi); Galimberti D (Poggibonsi); Garzia P (Varese); Giorgino M (Gallipoli); Gragnani S (Cecina); Gurrido R (Taranto); Lacaita G (Manduria); Leone G (Lodi); Lipari A (Catania V E); Lorenzini C (Pontremoli); Lo Sciotto P (Milazzo); Malagutti L (Ferrara Lagosanto); Maschio F (Mestre); Matteucci L (Lucca); Migliozzi L (Senigallia); Mileti F (Fasano); Murgia M R (Galatina); Navone M (Asti); Nosari N (Nocera I); Notarmuzi M L (Roma FBF); Pagliani L (Milano Sacco); Paino D (Vigevano); Papa I (Rimini); Papili F (Casale Monferrato); Parisi G (Lacco Ameno); Perocchi F (Perugia); Perona A (Biella); Pirrami R (Legnago); Pitassi I (Treviso); Priore (Seriate); Raponi S (Gavardo); Rizzo V (Cesena); Robieux I (S Vito Tagliamento); Rossi A (Reggio C); Ruffini E (Ascoli P); Russo R (Frattaminore); Salvi G (Siena); Serra L (Imola); Sferlazzo S (Palermo Villa Sofia); Solimano T (Pietra Ligure); Spadaro V (Noto); Stramare D (Pordenone); Stroppiana P (Torino Mauriziano); Tarquini E (Viterbo); Taurino L (Foggia); Tedoldi S (Manerbio); Tessariol D (Castelfranco V); Travaglio M D (Lagonegro); Vagnarelli F (Reggio E); Valente A (Trento); Valentini P (Roma Gemelli); Volta A (Montecchio E); Zaffaroni M (Novara).

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