Syphilis News and Research

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Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It has often been called “the great imitator” because so many of the signs and symptoms are indistinguishable from those of other diseases.

In the United States, health officials reported over 36,000 cases of syphilis in 2006, including 9,756 cases of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis. In 2006, half of all P&S syphilis cases were reported from 20 counties and 2 cities; and most P&S syphilis cases occurred in persons 20 to 39 years of age. The incidence of P&S syphilis was highest in women 20 to 24 years of age and in men 35 to 39 years of age. Reported cases of congenital syphilis in newborns increased from 2005 to 2006, with 339 new cases reported in 2005 compared to 349 cases in 2006.

Between 2005 and 2006, the number of reported P&S syphilis cases increased 11.8 percent. P&S rates have increased in males each year between 2000 and 2006 from 2.6 to 5.7 and among females between 2004 and 2006. In 2006, 64% of the reported P&S syphilis cases were among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Syphilis is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. Sores occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum. Sores also can occur on the lips and in the mouth. Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Pregnant women with the disease can pass it to the babies they are carrying. Syphilis cannot be spread through contact with toilet seats, doorknobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bathtubs, shared clothing, or eating utensils.
Young holidaymaker's traveling overseas face serious health issues from casual sex

Young holidaymaker's traveling overseas face serious health issues from casual sex

Regional initiative targets syphilis

Regional initiative targets syphilis

Skeletal remains of 3,160 individuals reveal changing status of cancer in Europe across the centuries

Skeletal remains of 3,160 individuals reveal changing status of cancer in Europe across the centuries

Rabies infections in organ donor and transplant recipients

Rabies infections in organ donor and transplant recipients

It is imperative for those who are at risk of getting HIV to be tested

It is imperative for those who are at risk of getting HIV to be tested

World Blood Donor Day

World Blood Donor Day

New evidence that Michelangelo may have suffered from Asperger’s disorder, or autism

New evidence that Michelangelo may have suffered from Asperger’s disorder, or autism

FDA finalizes new rule on donor eligibility for human tissues and cells

FDA finalizes new rule on donor eligibility for human tissues and cells

WHO calls for Sudan humanitarian assistance

WHO calls for Sudan humanitarian assistance

Comparative genomics to cast new light on other spirochete microbes

Comparative genomics to cast new light on other spirochete microbes