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A Journal on Dermatology

Journal of Istituto Dermatologico San Gallicano
Official Journal of the Associazione Dermatologi Ospedalieri Italiani - A.D.O.I.
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus



Esperienze Dermatologiche 2014 September;16(3):119-25


language: Italian

Trend of syphilis among patients at the Dermatology and Venereology Center of Tropical and Infectious diseases Department Rome University “Sapienza”: a ten-year observational retrospective study

Fuso C., Spataro A., La Rosa F., Pala S.

Dipartimento di Malattie Tropicali e Infettive, Servizio di Dermatologia e Venereologia, Università Sapienza di Roma, Roma, Italia


AIM: The purpose of the study was the to analyse trend of lues among patients hospitalized at the Dermatology and Venereology Center of Tropical and Infectious Diseases at the “Sapienza” University of Rome. The analysis took into consideration a period of over 10 years (2003-2012).
METHODS: The series was composed by 1119 cases of syphilis (7.6% of total incoming cases at our Center), 68.5% male (79.9% Italian and 20.1% non Italian) and 31.5% females (49.3% Italian and 50.7% non Italian), with a mean age of 42 years (Italian) and 32 years (non Italian).
RESULTS: In 25.8% of the cases syphilis was in its primary and secondary stages, while it was latent in 72.6% of the cases; 0.9% of patients had neurosyphilis and 0.7% congenital lues. Twenty percent of the affected female population was pregnant, with most subjects coming from Eastern Europe in particular from Romania. Persistently high values of nontreponemal antibody (serofast) was diagnosed in 6.9% of patients.
CONCLUSION: Our data confirm that in this last decade syphilis has made a come back in Rome, as demonstrated by the high number of total cases (annual trend, mostly, stable with slight decrease in recent years) and by the increase in the number of diagnoses of syphilis in pregnant women. There is a need to improve syphilis surveillance, mostly in high-risk population and in pregnant women.

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