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.
HIV test for new inmates may not yield new diagnoses, says study

HIV test for new inmates may not yield new diagnoses, says study

New evidence shows probiotics offer enormous potential for treatment of depression

New evidence shows probiotics offer enormous potential for treatment of depression

Stop L.A. Corruption: A new awareness campaign that highlights failures of LA County

Stop L.A. Corruption: A new awareness campaign that highlights failures of LA County

HIV risk-reduction counseling at time of HIV testing shows no reduction in STI rates

HIV risk-reduction counseling at time of HIV testing shows no reduction in STI rates

New quick test promises to reduce economic, health burden of syphilis cases in Latin America

New quick test promises to reduce economic, health burden of syphilis cases in Latin America

HIV prevention programs for female sex workers in India reduce syphilis, HIV

HIV prevention programs for female sex workers in India reduce syphilis, HIV

Research could lead to new ways to combat chlamydia

Research could lead to new ways to combat chlamydia

New plug-in optical sensor can help diagnose Kaposi's sarcoma

New plug-in optical sensor can help diagnose Kaposi's sarcoma

DNAzymes, gold nanoparticles and disease detection: an interview with Dr Chan and Kyryl Zagorovsky, University of Toronto

DNAzymes, gold nanoparticles and disease detection: an interview with Dr Chan and Kyryl Zagorovsky, University of Toronto

Experts to discuss changes to medical ethics paradigms proposed by bioethics colleagues

Experts to discuss changes to medical ethics paradigms proposed by bioethics colleagues

Untested products sold in stores during patent medicine era, study shows

Untested products sold in stores during patent medicine era, study shows

Peter Piot to be recognized with Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for Medical Research

Peter Piot to be recognized with Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for Medical Research

Study findings call for major change in approach to syphilis testing

Study findings call for major change in approach to syphilis testing

Syphilis in pregnancy widespread but preventable

Syphilis in pregnancy widespread but preventable

North Dakota, Kansas join list of states considering further abortion restrictions

North Dakota, Kansas join list of states considering further abortion restrictions

DNAzymes and gold nanoparticles used to detect infectious diseases

DNAzymes and gold nanoparticles used to detect infectious diseases

CIHR-funded researchers raise awareness of sexual health

CIHR-funded researchers raise awareness of sexual health

Longer looks: 'Bad suga' damages a neighborhood; A nurse's dying gift; Are ethical guidelines impeding patient care?

Longer looks: 'Bad suga' damages a neighborhood; A nurse's dying gift; Are ethical guidelines impeding patient care?

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine creates International Diagnostics Centre

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine creates International Diagnostics Centre

Homeless Intermediate Care Pilot Project helps reduce hospital, ED admissions

Homeless Intermediate Care Pilot Project helps reduce hospital, ED admissions