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
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 MarÃa 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
Abstract Full Text PDF