Published: 2021-06-24

Syphilis on the rise-a retrospective study at a tertiary care hospital in Northeast India

Nandakishore Thokchom, Bharath Meka, Linda Kongbam, Mrudula S., Erika Salam, Tana Ananto, Deepa Yumnam, Bhavya Valsalan


Background: Syphilis is an important sexually transmitted disease known for quite a long time. Its recognition and efficient treatment have become all the more necessary in the era of HIV epidemic in many clinical situations.

Methods: A retrospective observational study of 7 years (January 2013 to December 2019) in 43 patients of confirmed syphilis attending regional institute of medical sciences (RIMS), Imphal.

Results: During 7-year study period a sharp rise in syphilis cases were present from 2018 till the end of the study. Out of 43 patients, 39 were males. The most common age group was 25-40 years. Half of them were married. Maximum were heterosexuals and only 8 were homosexuals. Premarital and extra marital exposures were seen in 18 and 3 patients respectively. Patients presented in different forms-primary (48.6%), latent (25.7%) and secondary syphilis (22.8%). No cases of congenital syphilis and neurosyphilis were seen. VDRL titres ranged from 1:4 to 1:32. Six patients had HIV co-infection. No atypical presentations were seen.

Conclusions: Increasing cases of syphilis have been observed in recent years. Syphilis screening and prompt treatment amongst risk groups have become crucial along with proper surveillance and public health measures to prevent disease transmission.


Syphilis, Latent, Sexually transmitted infections, Venereal disease research laboratory, Treponema pallidum haemagglutination test, Men who have sex with men

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