About syphilis, congenital

What is syphilis, congenital?

Congenital syphilis is a chronic infectious disease caused by a spirochete (treponema pallidum) acquired by the fetus in the uterus before birth. Symptoms of this disease may not become apparent until several weeks or months after birth and, in some cases, may take years to appear. Congenital syphilis is passed on to the child from the mother who acquired the disease prior to or during pregnancy. The infant is more likely to have congenital syphilis when the mother has been infected during pregnancy although it is not uncommon for an infant to acquire congenital syphilis from a mother who was infected prior to pregnancy. Symptoms of early congenital syphilis include fever, skin problems and low birth weight. In late congenital syphilis, the symptoms of the disease do not usually become apparent until two to five years of age. In rare cases, the disease may remain latent for years with symptoms not being diagnosed until well into adulthood.

What are the symptoms for syphilis, congenital?

Skin: jaundice symptom was found in the syphilis, congenital condition

Congenital syphilis is acquired by the fetus when the treponema pallidum spirochete is present in the mother. Pregnant women with syphilis may have a reduction in estrogen while serum progesterone levels may increase. Symptoms of early congenital syphilis usually appear at three to fourteen weeks of age but may appear as late as age five years. Symptoms may include inflammation and hardening of the umbilical chord, rash, fever, low birth weight, high levels of cholesterol at birth, aseptic meningitis, anemia, monocytosis (an increase in the number of monocytes in the circulating blood), Enlarged liver and spleen, jaundice (yellowish color of the skin), shedding of skin affecting the palms and soles, convulsions, mental retardation, periostitis (inflammation around the bones causing tender limbs and joints), rhinitis with an infectious nasal discharge, hair loss, inflammation of the eye’s iris and pneumonia.

Symptoms of late congenital syphilis usually present themselves after age five and may remain undiagnosed well into adulthood. The characteristics of late congenital syphilis may be bone pain, retinitis pigmentosa (a serious eye disease), Hutchinson’s triad which is characterized by pegshaped upper central incisors (teeth), and interstitial keratitis which consists of blurred vision, abnormal tearing, eye pain and abnormal sensitivity to light, saddle nose, bony prominence of the forehead, high arched palate, short upper jawbone, nerve deafness and fissuring around the mouth and anus.

What are the causes for syphilis, congenital?

Congenital syphilis is a chronic infectious disease caused by the spirochete treponema pallidum and transmitted by an infected mother to the fetus in the womb. Adults transmit syphilis through sexual contact.

What are the treatments for syphilis, congenital?

Congenital syphilis is preventable. It occurs in infants whose mothers have not been treated for the disease prior to or during pregnancy. When the infection is very recent, the disease may not show up in the infant. Therefore, it is important to have the infant tested again later on if the mother has been diagnosed with syphilis.

It is possible that blood tests (serologic tests) may be negative during pregnancy. Symptoms may then show up when the infant is 3-14 weeks of age. In these cases the mother probably acquired the infection during the later part of her pregnancy.

The most effective treatment for syphilis in the mother, as well as congenital syphilis in the infant, is penicillin. In some cases other antibiotics may be used. Interstitial keratitis may be treated with corticosteroid drugs and atropine drops. An ophthalmologist should be consulted.

If nerve deafness is present a combination of penicillin and corticosteroids may be prescribed.

What are the risk factors for syphilis, congenital?

Untreated syphilis spreads throughout the body and causes complications with various organ systems. Some of the better-known complications of late syphilis include blindness, dementia, aortic aneurysm, deafness, stroke, and other complications related to the spreading of the infection to the brain. Late-stage syphilis can cause fatal complications.

Is there a cure/medications for syphilis, congenital?

Congenital syphilis is a multisystem infection caused by Treponema pallidum and transmitted to the fetus via the placenta.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) STI treatment guidelines recommend aqueous crystalline penicillin G 50,000 units/kg IV every 12 hours for the first 7 days of life and every 8 hours thereafter for a total of 10 days or procaine penicillin G 50,000 units/kg IM once/day for 10 days.

2. In infants with possible syphilis whose mothers were not adequately treated but who are clinically well and have a completely negative full evaluation, a single dose of benzathine penicillin 50,000 units/kg IM is an alternative treatment choice in selected circumstances, but only if follow-up is ensured.

3. Older infants and children with newly diagnosed congenital syphilis

4. CSF should be examined before treatment starts. The CDC recommends that any child with late congenital syphilis be treated with aqueous crystalline penicillin G 50,000 units/kg IV every 4 to 6 hours for 10 days. A single dose of benzathine penicillin G 50,000 units/kg IM may also be given at the completion of the IV therapy.

Face: Rhinitis (snuffles) with mucopurulent nasal discharge,Abdomen: Hepatosplenomegaly (enlarged liver and spleen),Skin: Jaundice, rash and desquamation,Eye: Chorioretinitis and pigmentary chorioretinopathy (salt and pepper type), glaucoma, cataracts, interstitial keratitis, optic neuritis
Fever,Skin problems,Low birth weight
Penicillin,Corticosteroid drugs,Atropine drops

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