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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2012, Article ID 430585, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/430585
Review Article

Syphilis Infection during Pregnancy: Fetal Risks and Clinical Management

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Policlinico “A. Gemelli”, Rome, Italy
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Policlinico Abano Terme, Abano Terme (PD), Italy

Received 15 March 2012; Accepted 17 May 2012

Academic Editor: Francesco De Seta

Copyright © 2012 Marco De Santis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Congenital syphilis is still a cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality. Untreated maternal infection leads to adverse pregnancy outcomes, including early fetal loss, stillbirth, prematurity, low birth weight, neonatal and infant death, and congenital disease among newborns. Clinical manifestations of congenital syphilis are influenced by gestational age, stage of maternal syphilis, maternal treatment, and immunological response of the fetus. It has been traditionally classified in early congenital syphilis and late congenital syphilis. Diagnosis of maternal infection is based on clinical findings, serological tests, and direct identification of treponemes in clinical specimens. Adequate treatment of maternal infection is effective for preventing maternal transmission to the fetus and for treating fetal infection. Prenatal diagnosis of congenital syphilis includes noninvasive and invasive diagnosis. Serological screening during pregnancy and during preconception period should be performed to reduce the incidence of congenital syphilis.