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Resurgence of syphilis: the largest case series of syphilis in pregnancy and the neonatal period in UK
  1. B Radhakrishnan1,
  2. S Seshadri1,
  3. D Uchil2,
  4. A Sau2,
  5. A Jolaoso2,
  6. R Cochrane2
  1. 1Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, UK
  2. 2Lewisham University Hospital, Lewisham, UK


The incidence of syphilis has been increasing in the UK and other European countries. Syphilis in pregnancy can result in spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, nonimmune hydrops, intrauterine growth restriction and perinatal death. Congenital syphilis can be prevented by antenatal screening and treatment during pregnancy.

Our aim was to measure the incidence of antenatal and congenital syphilis and to evaluate the use of screening tests and management of syphilis in pregnancy.

This was a retrospective study of the management of pregnant women diagnosed with syphilis at University Hospital Lewisham between 2003- 2009.

A total of 73 women were identified with age ranging from 17 to 41 years. Majority belonged to an ethnic minority group who had immigrated to UK. All women had confirmatory serological tests. None of the babies were diagnosed with congenital syphilis. Women were screened for other sexually transmitted infections in 83 % of cases.

This study highlights the rise of syphilis in the pregnant women and the significance of Multidisciplinary management along with counselling, offering screening and treatment to their partners. There is a need to review local practices on assessment, management of syphilis in pregnancy, neonatal period and follow-up, and to implement new national protocols.

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