Journal of Dermatology Research and Skin Care

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Research Article - Journal of Dermatology Research and Skin Care (2018) Volume 2, Issue 1

Pediatric syphilis: A five-year experience in a single centre

Background: Syphilis is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. Its transmission can be sexual, non-sexual through fomites or direct contact with lesions (acquired syphilis) or horizontal during pregnancy (congenital syphilis). In the last decade, a higher incidence of syphilis has been reported worldwide, but there is no data on acquired syphilis in children. Objectives: To provide evidence for the higher number of syphilis cases detected during dermatological consultations and their varied presentation. Methods: A retrospective observational study was made from 1st January 2013 to 31st December 2017 at Sor María Ludovica Children?s Hospital in La Plata, Argentina. Results: An increase in syphilis cases per year was reported. Thirty-six patients were studied, of which 11% and 89% had congenital and acquired syphilis, respectively. Bacterial transmission was found to be horizontal (11%), sexual (33.5%), sexual abuse (19.5%) and unknown (36%). Congenital syphilis was more common in boys (75%) whereas acquired syphilis was more frequent in girls (62.5%). A varied clinical presentation was observed. Conclusion: A higher number of syphilis cases were reported in this study. Sexual abuse victims were all very young girls, which shows a more vulnerable population in terms of sex and age. Given the high percent of patients in which the transmission mode is unknown, it is necessary to work on family habits facilitating non-sexual transmission and to implement a long-term followup to detect sexual abuse cases that were initially undiagnosed, i.e., sexual behaviors without evident lesions. Author(s): Rolotti MF, Torres Molina L, Garone A, Rositto A

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