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- Strategies of testing for syphilis during pregnancy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2014 Oct 29.:CD010385.
Each year about two million pregnant women are infected with preventable syphilis infection, mostly in developing countries. Despite the expansion of antenatal syphilis screening programmes over the past few decades, syphilis continues to be a major public health concern in developing countries. Point-of-care syphilis testing may be a useful strategy to substantially prevent syphilis-associated perinatal mortality and other negative consequences in resource-poor settings. However, the evidence on effectiveness has been generated mostly from observational study designs or has been reported as a mixed-intervention effect.To assess the effectiveness of antenatal syphilis screening in improving the uptake of screening tests and treatment, and reducing perinatal mortality.We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (30 September 2014) and the reference lists of retrieved studies.Randomised (individual and cluster) controlled trials comparing different screening tests conducted during routine antenatal check-ups versus no screening test. Cross-over trials and quasi-randomised experimental study designs were not eligible for inclusion.Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and risk of bias, extracted data and checked for accuracy.We included two cluster-randomised controlled trials (three reports). Both trials assessed point-of-care syphilis testing with conventional testing methods and together involved a total of 8493 pregnant women. Data from these trials were not amenable to meta-analysis as the measure of effectiveness was assessed in a non-comparable way.One trial randomised 14 antenatal clinics (including 7700 pregnant women) and was carried out at in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The trial assessed one-stop syphilis testing using a rapid treponemal test, and was judged to have unclear methods of random sequence generation, allocation concealment, selective reporting, and other bias and low risk of bias for incomplete outcome data. Blinding was not reported and was assessed as high risk. The point-of-care testing provided screening, test results and treatment within the same day. The trial appears to have adjusted their results to account for clustering. We entered the data into RevMan using the generic inverse variance method. The incidence of congenital syphilis was lower in the clusters receiving on-site screening (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.09, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01 to 0.71) and the proportion of women tested for syphilis was higher in the clusters receiving on-site screening at both the first antenatal visit and at the third trimester visit (OR 989.80, 95% CI 16.27 to 60233.05; OR 617.88, 95% CI 13.44 to 28399.01). Adequate treatment and partner treatment was higher with the on-site screening (AOR 10.44, 95% CI 1.00 to 108.99; AOR 18.17, 95% CI 3.23 to 101.20) and more syphilis cases were detected at first and third trimester visits with the on-site screening (AOR 2.45, 95% CI 1.44 to 4.18; AOR 6.27, 95% CI 1.47 to 26.69). Perinatal mortality, incidence of HIV/AIDS, obstacles in uptake of screening, any other adverse effects, or healthcare resource usage were not reported in this trial.The second trial divided clinics into seven matched pairs (including 7618 pregnant women, although results were only presented for the positive cases (793 women)), and within each pair one clinic was randomised to receive the on-site screening and the other to continue routine laboratory testing. The trial was conducted in primary healthcare clinics in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Random sequence generation were judged to be at low risk of bias, but allocation concealment and incomplete outcome data were judged to be high risk. Other bias and selective reporting bias remain unclear. Blinding was not reported and was assessed as high risk of bias. This trial assessed the primary outcome of this review (perinatal mortality) and the secondary outcomes (adverse outcomes; adequate treatment; syphilis prevalence) in the subset of women (793 women) who tested positive for syphilis. Only one outcome, adequate treatment, was adjusted to account for cluster design. However, not enough information was provided to include this in an analysis using the generic inverse variance method. Where possible, results have therefore been presented in forest plots (perinatal mortality; adequate treatment), as if the data are from a parallel randomised controlled trial. These results should therefore be interpreted with caution.The trial reported on perinatal mortality in women with positive test results and showed that on-site screening using a rapid plasma reagin test had no clear evidence of an effect on perinatal mortality reduction (odds ratio (OR) 0.63; 95% CI 0.27 to 1.48; 18/549 (3.3%) versus 8/157 (5.1%)). After loss to follow up, 396/618 (64.1%) women with positive test results received adequate treatment (two or more doses of 2.4 mega units of benzathine penicillin) in the intervention cluster versus 120/175 (68.6%) in the control (OR 0.82; 95% CI 0.57 to 1.17). It was not possible to include any other data on reported outcomes in forest plots (adverse outcomes; syphilis prevalence). Incidence of congenital syphilis, proportion of women test for syphilis, incidence of HIV/AIDS, obstacles in uptake of screening, partner treatment, or healthcare resource usage were not reported in this trial.This review included evidence from two cluster-randomised trials at high or unclear risk of bias for most of the 'Risk of bias' domains. Data were not combined in meta-analysis because the trials used non-comparable measures of effectiveness.Point-of-care syphilis testing showed some promising results for syphilis detection and treatment rates and for use in different settings. In Mongolia point-of-care testing was found to be effective in increasing the proportion of pregnant women tested for syphilis and treatment provided, reducing congenital syphilis, and improving access to treatment for both women and their partners. In contrast, in rural South Africa, among women with positive test results, there was no clear evidence of an effect of point-of-care syphilis testing in increasing adequate syphilis treatment rates, and reducing perinatal mortality, but point-of-care testing was found to reduce delay in seeking treatment.More trials are therefore warranted to determine the effectiveness of available testing strategies for improving syphilis-associated adverse outcomes in pregnant women and neonates, especially in high-risk regions.
- Hepatic Lesions with Secondary Syphilis in an HIV-Infected Patient. [Journal Article]
- Case Rep Med 2014.:604794.
Syphilis among HIV-infected patients continues to be a public health concern, especially in men who have sex with men. The clinical manifestations of syphilis are protean; syphilitic hepatitis is an unusual complication that can occur at any stage of the disease. We report a case of an HIV-infected male who presented with systemic symptoms and liver lesions highly suggestive of lymphoma and was proven to have syphilitic hepatitis by liver biopsy. Our case reinforces the importance of recognizing syphilis as a possible cause of unexplained abnormal liver enzymes and/or hepatic lesions in HIV-infected patients.
- 2014 European guideline on the management of syphilis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2014 Oct 27.
Syphilis remains a major public health problem in Europe (both in Eastern Europe since the 1990's and in Western Europe since the re-emergence of the disease in the late 1990's-early 2000's).This guideline is an update of the IUSTI: 2008 European guideline on the management of syphilis and is produced by the European Guideline Editorial Board (http://www.iusti.org/regions/Europe/pdf/2013/Editorial_Board.pdf) and EDF Guideline Committee.It provides recommendations concerning the diagnosis and management of syphilis in Europe. Major advances include (1) broader use of PCR, immunohistochemistry, subtyping of the etiological agent Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum, new treponemal tests, and rapid-point-of-care (POC) tests detecting both treponemal and non-treponemal antibodies, (2) more flexible options for screening (TT-treponemal test- first or NTT -non treponemal test- first or both TT and NTT), and (3) procaine penicillin is no longer the first line therapy option in any phase of the disease, i.e. long acting penicillin G (i.e. benzathine penicillin G-BPG) is the only first line therapy regimen in early syphilis and in late latent syphilis.Syphilis is a disease that is relatively easy to detect by appropriate serological tests, however, all laboratory results should be considered together with clinical data and sexual risk anamnesis. Syphilis is also easy to treat with BPG. A major concern about the supply of BPG in many European countries could threaten the efficacy of the policies of eradication of the disease in Europe.
- The Evolution of Untreated Acute Syphilitic Posterior Placoid Chorioretinitis Captured by Multimodal Retinal Imaging. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina 2014 Oct 31.:1-4.
Acute syphilitic posterior placoid chorioretinitis (ASPPC) is a rare manifestation of syphilis. Most cases respond to systemic treatment of the underlying Treponema pallidum infection. The authors illustrate the natural progression of untreated ASPPC with multimodal retinal imaging. [Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2014; 45:xxx-xxx].
- Primary Intranasal Lining Injury Cause, Deformities, and Treatment Plan. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Plast Reconstr Surg 2014 Nov; 134(5):1045-1056.
Nasal membranes may be injured by immune disease, infection, trauma, or cocaine. Destruction of the septum, vault and floor lining, external skin, upper lip, and adjacent structures follows.Lining injuries caused by cocaine, Wegener granulomatosis, primary syphilis, leishmaniasis, septorhinoplasty, septal cancer excision and irradiation, corrosive inhalation, and foreign body and iatrogenic intubation injury were reviewed. The site and degree of injury were correlated with presentation and anatomical and functional abnormality.Damage may be isolated to the septum, creating a septal fistula with loss of dorsal and tip support and modest collapse of the dorsum and tip with columellar retraction, or the injury may extend onto the vaults and floor, leading to circumferential scar contracture and severe nasal shortening and lip retraction. Progressive disease, infection, or iatrogenic injury increases soft-tissue damage, causing external skin contraction or full-thickness necrosis.Repair is determined by site, depth of injury, and clinical deformity-not cause. Lining necrosis and subsequent scar contraction, rather than structural compromise of the septum, are the primary causes of the severe deformity. If vault and floor lining injury is minimal, central support alone will restore dorsal and tip projection. Extensive loss requires release of scar contracture and replacement of the vault and floor lining with composite grafts, a microvascular flap, or hinge-over lining flaps, depending on the site and extent of injury. If the external skin is destroyed by scar or a full-thickness loss, a staged forehead flap will be required to resurface the nose.
- Can the Perinatal Information System in Peru be used to measure the proportion of adverse birth outcomes attributable to maternal syphilis infection? [Journal Article]
- Rev Panam Salud Publica 2014 Aug; 36(2):73-9.
To describe the capacity of Peru's Perinatal Information System (Sistema Informático Perinatal, SIP) to provide estimates for monitoring the proportion of stillbirths and other adverse birth outcomes attributable to maternal syphilis.A descriptive study was conducted to assess the quality and completeness of SIP data from six Peruvian public hospitals that used the SIP continuously from 2000 - 2010 and had maternal syphilis prevalence of at least 0.5% during that period. In-depth interviews were conducted with Peruvian stakeholders about their experiences using the SIP.Information was found on 123 575 births from 2000 - 2010 and syphilis test results were available for 99 840 births. Among those 99 840 births, there were 1 075 maternal syphilis infections (1.1%) and 619 stillbirths (0.62%). Among women with syphilis infection in pregnancy, 1.7% had a stillbirth, compared to 0.6% of women without syphilis infection. Much of the information needed to estimate the proportion of stillbirths attributable to maternal syphilis was available in the SIP, with the exception of syphilis treatment information, which was not collected. However, SIP data collection is complex and time-consuming for clinicians. Data were unlinked across hospitals and not routinely used or quality-checked. Despite these limitations, the SIP data examined were complete and valid; in 98% of records, information on whether or not the infant was stillborn was the same in both the SIP and clinical charts. Nearly 89% of women had the same syphilis test result in clinical charts and the SIP.The large number of syphilis infections reported in Peru's SIP and the ability to link maternal characteristics to newborn outcomes make the system potentially useful for monitoring the proportion of stillbirths attributable to congenital syphilis in Peru. To ensure good data quality and sustainability of Peru's SIP, data collection should be simplified and information should be continually quality-checked and used for the benefit of participating facilities.
- A case of syphilitic aortic aneurysm with sternal erosion and impending rupture. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Asian Cardiovasc Thorac Ann 2014 Oct 24.
Syphilitic aortic aneurysm is a rare occurrence in the current antibiotic era. Cardiovascular syphilis has nearly disappeared in developed countries, although it remains a factor in differential diagnosis in developing nations. We report a case of syphilitic aortic aneurysm eroding through the sternum in a 52-year-old man who underwent successful surgical repair.
- Drug use, sexual risk behaviour and sexually transmitted infections among swingers: a cross-sectional study in The Netherlands. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Sex Transm Infect 2014 Oct 23.
Recreational drug use has been found to be associated with high-risk sexual behaviour and with sexually transmitted infections (STI). This study is the first to assess the prevalence of drug use among swingers (heterosexuals who, as a couple, practise mate swapping or group sex, and/or visit sex clubs for couples), and its association with high-risk sexual behaviour and STI.We recruited individuals who self-identified as swingers and visited our STI clinic (from 2009 to 2012, South Limburg, The Netherlands). Participants (n=289; median age 45 years; 49% female) filled in a self-administered questionnaire on their sexual and drug use behaviour while swinging, over the preceding 6 months. We assessed associations between sexual behaviour, drug use and STI diagnoses (Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoea (NG), syphilis, HIV and hepatitis B) using logistic regression analyses.Overall, the prevalence of CT and/or NG was 13%. No other STIs were observed. Seventy-nine percent of swingers reported recreational drug use (including alcohol and use of erectile dysfunction drugs); 46% of them reported multiple drug use. Recreational drug use excluding alcohol and erectile dysfunction drugs (reported by 48%) was associated with high-risk behaviours in men and women. Drug use was independently associated with STI in female swingers, especially those who practice group sex.High rates of multiple drug use, as well as risky sexual behaviour and STIs among swingers, warrant paying more attention to this key population in prevention and care, as they are a risk group that is generally under-recognised and underserved in care.
- Evaluation of the SD BIOLINE HIV/syphilis Duo assay at a rural health center in Southwestern Uganda. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- BMC Res Notes 2014 Oct 22; 7(1):746.
Point-of-care tests have the capacity to improve healthcare delivery by reducing costs and delay associated with care. A novel point-of-care immunochromatographic test for dual diagnosis of both HIV and syphilis by detecting IgG, IgM and IgA antibodies to HIV, and specific and recombinant Treponema pallidum antigens has recently been developed, but has not been evaluated in rural field settings. We evaluated the performance of the SD Bioline Syphilis/HIV Duo (Duo) assay at a healthcare center in rural Uganda.A convenience sample of pregnant women attending Kinoni Health Centre IV from March to May, 2013 was enrolled. Venous blood was collected and centrifuged for plasma isolation. Samples were tested with the Duo assay and compared with the Treponema pallidum hemaglutination assay and paired HIV rapid antibody tests as the reference standards. The ease of use and time required for the Duo assay were also assessed by laboratory technicians.Two hundred twenty women were enrolled with a mean age of 25.00 years (SD 5.41). The sensitivity and specificity of the Duo assay were 100% (95%CI 79.0 - 100%) and 100% (95%CI 97.6 - 100.0) respectively, for syphilis, and, 100% (75.9 - 100%) and 99.5% (96.8 - 99.9%) respectively, for HIV. The duo kit was found to be faster and easier to use than the current HIV and syphilis testing techniques.The sensitivity and specificity of the SD Bioline HIV/Syphilis Duo test were excellent in a field setting in Uganda. The Duo assay should be further evaluated in alternate populations and with point-of-care specimens (e.g. whole blood from finger stick specimens), but shows promise as a tool for improved HIV and syphilis surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment in field settings.
- The increase of sexually transmitted infections calls for simultaneous preventive intervention for more effectively containing HIV epidemics in China. [Journal Article]
- BJOG 2014 Oct.:35-44.
To identify the priority public health challenges with respect to the development of multipurpose prevention technologies in China.Review of published literature, databases of state and local disease control agencies and unpublished data relating to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).China.General and migrant populations.Review of published data, government reports and databases of China Disease Control agencies, and our unpublished studies.Reported STI incidence, particularly HIV, syphilis, chlamydia and genital herpes, and the migrant population with respect to disease transmission.We found that the reported STI incidence increases along with that of HIV and showed significant geographic overlap with HIV. Economic migrant workers may facilitate the spread of STIs, including HIV.To more effectively contain the HIV epidemic, it is imperative to develop preventive measures to simultaneously target HIV and other STIs. We recommend that the development of multipurpose prevention technologies in China should target HIV and STIs.