Syphilis is bacterial infection caused by a sexually transmissible pathogenic agent (Treponema pallidum).
Transmission of syphilis
Syphilis is transmitted during sexual relations (oral, genital, or anal) with an infected partner. A pregnant woman with syphilis can transmit the infection to the foetus, which sometimes causes congenital abnormalities or even foetal death. Syphilis can also be transmitted by sharing syringes or from a skin lesion, although this is rare.
Symptoms of syphilis
Primary syphilis is characterised by a painless sore at the primary infection site (genitals, mouth, etc.) where the bacterium begins to multiply. After this initial sore (or chancre) has healed, which may take several weeks, a rash develops over the entire body.
If it is not treated, syphilis can become secondary (flu-like symptoms, jaundice, meningitis), or even tertiary (chronic, with internal organ damage) and cause the death of the patient.
Treatment of syphilis
Syphilis can be diagnosed by a simple blood test and is easily treated by penicillin or other antibiotics.
Syphilis is a sexually transmissible disease that can be avoided by wearing a condom. © DR