Congenital Syphilis

  • Joshua M. CooperEmail author
  • Jessica E. Williams
  • Pablo J. Sánchez


Congenital syphilis is a major cause of pregnancy loss and stillbirth as well as infant morbidity, and the incidence of congenital syphilis continues to rise in the United States. Infants may present with signs of congenital infection including hepatosplenomegaly, rash, and osteochondritis/periostitis.However, the majority of infants at risk for congenital syphilis are asymptomatic in the newborn period. Diagnosis is based on maternal serologic testing as well as thorough infant evaluation, including physical examination, complete blood cell and platelet counts, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, and long bone imaging. Treatment with penicillin is curative; duration of therapy depends on timing of maternal treatment (if any) and results of the infant’s evaluation. Prevention of congenital syphilis requires timely screening and treatment during pregnancy.


Cerebrospinal fluid Penicillin Reactive plasma reagin Syphilis VDRL Congenital syphilis reverse sequence syphilis testing 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua M. Cooper
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jessica E. Williams
    • 2
  • Pablo J. Sánchez
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Neonatology, Department of PediatricsWake Forest School of MedicineWinston SalemUSA
  2. 2.The Ohio State University College of MedicineColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Divisions of Neonatology and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of PediatricsNationwide Children’s Hospital, Center for Perinatal Research, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University College of MedicineColumbusUSA

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