How is congenital syphilis transmitted from the mother to her unborn child?

Congenital syphilis occurs when a mother’s syphilis goes untreated during pregnancy and is passed to the baby through the placenta. A baby can also become infected with syphilis during labor or delivery.

Can syphilis be transmitted from mother to child?

Syphilis can also be passed on to an unborn baby during pregnancy. Congenital syphilis is the disease that occurs when a mother with syphilis passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy. Babies born to women with untreated syphilis may be stillborn (a baby born dead) or die from the infection as a newborn.

How is syphilis transmitted to a fetus?

Most of the time, syphilis is passed from mom to baby during pregnancy, but it can happen during vaginal birth if a baby has direct contact with a syphilis sore. Vaginal birth is when contractions in your uterus (womb) help push your baby out through the vagina.

Can congenital syphilis be transmitted?

Congenital syphilis is a chronic infectious disease caused by the spirochete treponema pallidum and transmitted by an infected mother to the fetus in the womb. Adults transmit syphilis through sexual contact.

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What happens to a baby born to a mother with syphilis?

Approximately 40% of babies born to women with untreated syphilis can be stillborn or die from the infection as a newborn. Babies born with congenital syphilis can have bone damage, severe anemia, enlarged liver and spleen, jaundice, nerve problems causing blindness or deafness, meningitis, or skin rashes.

Can a man with syphilis get a woman pregnant?

Untreated syphilis can cause infertility in both women and men. Later stages of the disease cause damage to organs and nerves, which can affect all the systems of the body, including the reproductive system. For men, epididymitis causes most syphilis-related infertility.

Can you get syphilis from a baby with congenital syphilis?

Yes. Congenital syphilis is completely preventable. You can protect your baby from the infection by protecting yourself from the infection. The only way for your baby to get infected is by getting it from you during pregnancy and birth.

How does syphilis cross the placenta?

Congenital syphilis results from transplacental transmission of the bacteria to the baby (the bacteria can cross the placenta). Transmission is possible at any stage of pregnancy and can result in fetal death, or multiple organ problems.

How is syphilis diagnosed in pregnancy?

The AAP and the ACOG advise using a nontreponemal screening test initially (RPR or VDRL test), followed by a confirmatory treponemal antibody test. 3 The CDC recommends that all pregnant women be screened for syphilis with serologic testing at the first prenatal visit.

What causes syphilis in a woman?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by an infection with bacteria known as Treponema pallidum. Like other STDs, syphilis can be spread by any type of sexual contact. Syphilis can also be spread from an infected mother to the fetus during pregnancy or to the baby at the time of birth.

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What happens to a child born with syphilis?

But syphilis among newborns, called congenital syphilis, can cause deformities, severe anemia, an enlarged liver and spleen, jaundice or brain and nerve problems such as blindness or deafness.

How common is congenital syphilis?

How common is CS? CS cases have more than tripled in recent years, with more than 2,000 cases reported in 2020 alone. This is the highest number reported in one year since 1994. Public health professionals across the country are very concerned about the growing number of congenital syphilis cases in the United States.

What does congenital syphilis look like?

Early congenital syphilis commonly manifests during the first 3 months of life. Manifestations include characteristic vesiculobullous eruptions or a macular, copper-colored rash on the palms and soles and papular lesions around the nose and mouth and in the diaper area, as well as petechial lesions.