Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease and can be vertically transmitted through the
placenta to the fetus resulting in congenital syphilis at any time during pregnancy or at birth. The
burden of morbidity and mortality due to congenital syphilis is high. According to The World Health
Organization an estimated 350 000 adverse pregnancy outcomes worldwide were attributed to
syphilis, including 143 000 stillbirth, 62 000 neonatal deaths, 44 000 pre term/low-birth-weight-baby
and 102 000 infected infants.
Diagnosis of syphilis in pregancy mainly based on clinical symptoms, serological tests and
direct identification of treponemas in clinical samples. However, the asymptomatic and extensive
clinical manifestations of syphilis mimic those of many other diseases during pregnancy, may lead
to delayed diagnoses. Screening all pregnant women for syphilis at first antenatal care visit is
recommended in many countries committed to elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
Syphilis screening, early detection and adequate treatment for all pregnant women can help
to manage syphilis effectively and prevent adverse health outcome in the mother and transmission
to their infant.
Syphilis in pregnancy, congenital, screening, management