Introduction To investigate whether there is Treponema pallidum(TP) DNA in the breast milk of female patients with syphilis and provide scientific evidence for breast-feeding for female syphilis patients after childbirth.
Methods A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique was used for the detection of TP DNA in the breast milk of female syphilis patients in Shenzhen, China.
Results An early syphilis patient after six months childbirth with hard chancre in the labia majora and secondary syphilitic eruption in the trunk and limbs had toluidine red unheated serum test (TRUST) positive with the titer of 1:128 and Treponema pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA) positive and had TP DNA detected in her breast milk by PCR technique. Her six-month-old daughter had TRUST positive with the titer of 1:256 and TPPA positive with secondary syphilitic eruption in the trunk and limbs. The mother syphilis patient received 3 weekly intramuscular injections of 2.4 million units of benzathine penicillin G (BPG) on both sides, once a week. After one weekly intramuscular injection of BPG, TP DNA wasn’t detected in the breast milk of the female patient and remained negative after two weekly injection of BPG in the breast milk of the female patient. Ten cases of syphilis before and during pregnancy received BPG treatment in our hospital all had no TP DNA detected in their breast milk.
Conclusion Female early syphilis patients never received BPG treatment have TP DNA detected in their breast milk and are unable to breast-feed their babies temporarily. Female syphilis patients received BPG treatment have no TP DNA detected in their breast milk and can breast-feed their babies but need to be followed-up regularly.