Items in AFP with MESH term: Syphilis
Diagnosis and Management of Syphilis - Article
ABSTRACT: Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease with varied and often subtle clinical manifestations. Primary syphilis typically presents as a solitary, painless chancre, whereas secondary syphilis can have a wide variety of symptoms, especially fever, lymphadenopathy, rash, and genital or perineal condyloma latum. In latent syphilis, all clinical manifestations subside, and infection is apparent only on serologic testing. Late or tertiary syphilis can manifest years after infection as gummatous disease, cardiovascular disease, or central nervous system involvement. Neurosyphilis can develop in any stage of syphilis. The diagnosis of syphilis may involve dark-field microscopy of skin lesions but most often requires screening with a nontreponemal test and confirmation with a treponemal-specific test. Parenterally administered penicillin G is considered first-line therapy for all stages of syphilis. Alternative regimens for nonpregnant patients with no evidence of central nervous system involvement include doxycycline, tetracycline, ceftriaxone, and azithromycin. In pregnant women and patients with neurosyphilis, penicillin remains the only effective treatment option; if these patients are allergic to penicillin, desensitization is required before treatment is initiated. Once the diagnosis of syphilis is confirmed, quantitative nontreponemal test titers should be obtained. These titers should decline fourfold within six months after treatment of primary or secondary syphilis and within 12 to 24 months after treatment of latent or late syphilis. Serial cerebrospinal fluid examinations are necessary to ensure adequate treatment of neurosyphilis.
ABSTRACT: The diagnosis and treatment of syphilis can present difficult dilemmas. Serologic tests can be negative if they are performed at the stage when lesions are present, and the VDRL test can be negative in patients with late syphilis. Cerebrospinal fluid examination is not required in patients with primary or secondary disease and no neurologic signs or symptoms, but it may be warranted in patients with late latent syphilis or in whom the duration of infection is unknown. Patients with penicillin allergy can be treated with alternative regimens if they have primary or secondary syphilis. Penicillin is the only effective drug for neurosyphilis; oral desensitization should be accomplished before treatment of penicillin-allergic patients. Other dilemmas may be encountered in the treatment of patients who have concurrent human immunodeficiency virus infection.
ABSTRACT: In 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. Several treatment advances have been made since the previous guidelines were published. Part I of this two-part article describes current recommendations for the treatment of genital ulcer diseases, urethritis and cervicitis. Treatment advances include effective single-dose regimens for many sexually transmitted diseases and improved therapies for herpes infections. Two single-dose regimens, 1 g of oral azithromycin and 250 mg of intramuscular ceftriaxone, are effective for the treatment of chancroid. A three-day course of 500 mg of oral ciprofloxacin twice daily may be used to treat chancroid in patients who are not pregnant. Parenteral penicillin continues to be the drug of choice for treatment of all stages of syphilis. Three antiviral medications have been shown to provide clinical benefit in the treatment of genital herpes: acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir. Valacyclovir and famciclovir are not yet recommended for use during pregnancy. Azithromycin in a single oral 1-g dose is now a recommended regimen for the treatment of nongonococcal urethritis.
Syphilis: A Reemerging Infection - Article
ABSTRACT: Rates of primary and secondary syphilis have increased in the past decade, warranting renewed attention to the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Men who have sex with men are particularly affected; however, increases in infection rates have also been noted in women, as well as in all age groups and ethnicities. Physicians need to vigilantly screen high-risk patients. The concurrent rise in congenital syphilis also requires special attention and reemphasizes the need for continued early prenatal care and syphilis screening for all pregnant women. Syphilis infection in patients coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus has also become more common. New experimental diagnostic approaches, including using the B cell chemoattractant chemokine (CXC motif) ligand 13 as a cerebrospinal fluid marker, may help identify suspected neurosyphilis cases. Additionally, point-of-care immunochromatographic strip testing has been suggested for screening high-risk populations in developing countries. Nontreponemal screening tests followed by treponemal confirmatory tests continue to be standard diagnostics; however, interpreting false-negative and false-positive test results, and identifying serofast reactions, can be challenging. Although doxycycline, tetracycline, ceftriaxone, and azithromycin have been used to successfully treat syphilis, penicillin remains the drug of choice in all stages of infection and is the therapy recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Close follow-up is necessary to ensure treatment success.