Retrospective analysis of burden of maternal syphilis and the outcome in the fetus in a tertiary care centre

M. Manimegalai, P. Elangovan, V.A. Kayalvizhi, D. Mithra Rangapriya


Background: Syphilis in pregnancy has its own significance with regards to the outcome of pregnancy. In the meanwhile, it also reflects the effectiveness of health system in the community.

Methods: A retrospective study was carried out in a tertiary care centre in Chennai between January 2014 and July 2015 to determine the seroprevalence of syphilis in pregnant women. A total of 4423 ANC mother attending the hospital were included in the study.

Results: Of the 4423 cases studied, 7 cases were found to be positive for RPR accounting to the prevalence of 0.15%. One mother was symptomatic, presenting with condyloma lata. TPHA was positive in 2 cases (28.5%) Most common association was with HIV infection, 2/7 (28.5%). All the RPR positive patients were treated with tablet erythromycin 500 mg qid × 14 days. Epidose for the partner was given. The outcome was uneventful except for one. A single case of congenital syphilis was reported.

Conclusions: Though the prevalence of RPR positive in routine screening is less, the outcome of single congenital syphilis is worrisome. To conclude, although the prevalence of syphilis (0.1%) is low, routine screening of asymptomatic ante natal women is recommended to reduce the incidence of congenital syphilis & perinatal complications and it is always better to treat the ANC mothers with syphilis with Penicillin, preferably with a second dose also.


Maternal Syphilis, Penicillin, Congenital syphilis

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