(1/1305) Treatment of syphilis, 1998: nonpregnant adults.

Questions regarding the appropriate therapy for syphilis remain, despite the many years during which this infection has been subjected to intense scientific scrutiny. In an effort to provide guidance for the development of the 1998 sexually transmitted disease (STD) treatment guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these questions were outlined and an effort to answer them was made. Articles relating to syphilis treatment published after the previous revision of the CDC STD treatment guidelines (in 1993) and by the end of 1996 were identified with use of MEDLINE. Abstracts from relevant scientific meetings held during that time were also examined. Reference was also made to older literature, and expert opinion was sought. Conclusions were reached and recommendations were made on the basis of published evidence wherever possible.  (+info)

(2/1305) What's driving an epidemic? The spread of syphilis along an interstate highway in rural North Carolina.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine whether county syphilis rates were increased along Interstate Highway 95 (I-95) in North Carolina during a recent epidemic. METHODS: Ecological data on syphilis cases demographic data, highway data, and drug activity data were used to conduct a cross-sectional and longitudinal study of North Carolina countries from 1985 to 1994. Crude and adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were determined by means of standard and longitudinal Poisson regression models adjusted for sociodemographic factors and drug use. RESULTS: Ten-year syphilis rates in I-95 counties greatly exceeded rates in non-I-95 counties (38 vs 16 cases per 100,000 persons) and remained higher after adjustment for race, age, sex, poverty, large cities, and drug activity (adjusted IRR = 2.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.84, 2.28). Syphilis rates were stable until 1989, when rates increased sharply in I-95 counties but remained stable in non-I-95 counties. Increased drug activity in I-95 counties preceded the rise in syphilis cases. CONCLUSIONS: A better understanding of the relationship between high-ways and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases may guide future prevention interventions.  (+info)

(3/1305) Assessing the sensitivity of STD surveillance in the Netherlands: an application of the capture--recapture method.

The capture-recapture method was used to estimate the sensitivity of case finding in two national STD surveillance systems: (1) STD registration at municipal health services (STD-MHS); (2) statutory notification by clinicians (NNS). To identify those cases common to both surveillance systems, cases from 1995 were compared using individual identifiers. Estimated sensitivities for syphilis were: STD-MHS 31% (95% CI: 27-35%), NNS 64% (56-71%); and for gonorrhoea: STD-MHS 15% (14-18%), NNS 22% (19-25%). The combined sensitivity of both systems was 76% for syphilis and 34% for gonorrhoea. Differences in the sensitivity of the systems were significant. The NNS was more sensitive than the STD-MHS, and the identification of cases was significantly more sensitive for syphilis than for gonorrhoea. A stratified analysis showed comparable results for the two sexes. Knowledge on the sensitivity of surveillance systems is useful for public health decisions and essential for international comparisons.  (+info)

(4/1305) Infectious diseases and anemia in a sample of out-of-treatment drug users.

OBJECTIVE: To understand how the prevalence of anemia, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and syphilis in a sample of out-of-treatment drug users affected delivery of care in a managed care model. STUDY DESIGN: A snowball sampling design with multiple zero order contacts was used in targeted census tracts with a high incidence of illicit drug use and sexually transmitted diseases. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Out-of-treatment drug users were recruited as part of a national multisite study of HIV risk behaviors in this population. Subjects were recruited using targeted community-based sampling. RESULTS: The rate of individuals who tested positive for both syphilis and HIV was 2.5 times greater than those who tested positive for syphilis only and 2.8 times greater than those who tested positive for HIV only. Of the men, 16.1% were anemic, and 33.3% of women were anemic. Rates of HIV (10.7%) and syphilis (19.8%) were found to be high among both male and female drug users. These statistics, coupled with the prevalence of anemia, indicate that drug users have many more problems other than drug use, a conclusion which can have an impact on how managed care plans approach drug users. CONCLUSION: A multipronged interdisciplinary approach may be warranted for both the patient and the managed care organization.  (+info)

(5/1305) Vertical transmission of Treponema pallidum to various litters and generations of guinea pigs.

The transmission of congenital syphilis was studied in a 4-generation guinea pig family with 10 litters and 38 offspring. By use of one or all of the following tests (ELISA-IgM, polymerase chain reaction, and rabbit infectivity), transplacental infection was demonstrated through 5 litters and up to 4 generations. Twenty-eight (93%) of 30 animals were positive by >/=1 test, and 2 (7%) were negative by 1 or 3 tests. While transmission of the pathogen appeared to be unaffected by the maternal acquisition of immunity, signs of smoldering infection in the young was suggested by the decline in humoral responses in successive progeny and by unusual rabbit infectivity test results. With each pregnancy there was a remarkable booster in the maternal humoral response, which dropped significantly prior to term. These findings shed new light on the understanding and interpretation of serologic testing during pregnancy and the perinatal period.  (+info)

(6/1305) Syphilis: review with emphasis on clinical, epidemiologic, and some biologic features.

Syphilis is a chronic disease with a waxing and waning course, the manifestations of which have been described for centuries. It occurs worldwide, and the incidence varies significantly with geographic location. Transmission is mainly by sexual contact. The causative organism, Treponema pallidum, was first described in 1905, but because of the inability to culture the organism and the limitations of direct microscopy, serologic testing is the mainstay of laboratory diagnosis. The disease has been arbitrarily divided into several stages. The primary stage is defined by a chancre at the site of inoculation. The secondary stage is characterized by a polymorphic rash, lymphadenopathy, and other systemic manifestations. A variable asymptomatic latent period follows, which for epidemiologic purposes is divided into early (<1 year) and late (>1 year) stages. The early stages (primary, secondary, and early latent) are potentially infectious. The tertiary stage is the most destructive and is marked by cardiovascular and neurologic sequelae and gummatous involvement of any organ system. Congenital infection may result in protean early or late manifestations. Unlike many other bacteria causing infectious diseases, the organism remains sensitive to penicillin, and this remains the mainstay of therapy.  (+info)

(7/1305) Resolving the common clinical dilemmas of syphilis.

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.  (+info)

(8/1305) Membrane topology and cellular location of the Treponema pallidum glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase (GlpQ) ortholog.

Recent reports that isolated Treponema pallidum outer membranes contain an ortholog for glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase (GlpQ) (D. V. Shevchenko, D. R. Akins, E. J. Robinson, M. Li, O. V. Shevchenko, and J. D. Radolf, Infect. Immun. 65:4179-4189, 1997) and that this protein is a potential opsonic target for T. pallidum (C. E. Stebeck, J. M. Shaffer, T. W. Arroll, S. A. Lukehart, and W. C. Van Voorhis, FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 154:303-310, 1997) prompted a more detailed investigation of its physicochemical properties and cellular location. [14C]palmitate radiolabeling studies of a GlpQ-alkaline phosphatase fusion expressed in Escherichia coli confirmed the prediction from DNA sequencing that the protein is lipid modified. Studies using Triton X-114 phase partitioning revealed that the protein's amphiphilicity is due to lipid modification and that a substantial portion of the polypeptide is associated with the T. pallidum peptidoglycan sacculus. Three different approaches, i.e., (i) proteinase K treatment of intact treponemes, (ii) indirect immunofluorescence analysis of treponemes encapsulated in agarose beads, and (iii) opsonophagocytosis of treponemes incubated with antiserum against recombinant GlpQ by rabbit peritoneal macrophages, confirmed that GlpQ is entirely subsurface in T. pallidum. Moreover, rabbits hyperimmunized with GlpQ were not protected against intradermal challenge with virulent treponemes. Circular dichroism spectroscopy confirmed that the recombinant form of the polypeptide lacked discernible evidence of denaturation. Finally, GlpQ was not radiolabeled when T. pallidum outer membranes were incubated with 3-(trifluoromethyl)-3-(m-[125I]iodophenyl)-diazarene, a photoactivatable, lipophilic probe which promiscuously labels both proteins and lipids within phospholipid bilayers. Taken as a whole, these studies indicate that the T. pallidum GlpQ ortholog is a periplasmic protein associated predominantly with the spirochete's peptidoglycan-cytoplasmic membrane complex.  (+info)