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Prevalence of syphilis infection in Mozambican women with second trimester miscarriage and women attending antenatal care in second trimester.
  1. A Lindstrand,
  2. S Bergström,
  3. A Bugalho,
  4. G Zanconato,
  5. A M Helgesson,
  6. B Hederstedt
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecologi, Akademiska Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.


    OBJECTIVES--To elucidate whether recent syphilis infection is significantly more prevalent among women with mid-trimester miscarriage than among antenatal care attenders in midtrimester pregnancy. DESIGN--Two categories of pregnant women were compared regarding serological signs of syphilis. Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) analyses were done in Mozambique and Veneral Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) tests in Sweden. In case of RPR and/or VDRL positivity, Treponema pallidum haemagglutination (TPHA) and Captia Syphilis-M were performed. SETTING--A suburban antenatal care clinic and the emergency ward at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Central Hospital in Maputo, Mozambique, were studied June-August 1991. SUBJECTS--Randomly selected women seeking antenatal care in midtrimester pregnancy (N = 202) were compared with 114 women consecutively entering with clinical signs of midtrimester miscarriage. RESULTS--Among antenatal care attenders, 37/202 (18.3%), and among women with midtrimester miscarriage, 37/114 (32.5%), had syphilis confirmed with the Treponema pallidum haemagglutination test (p < 0.01). Significant titres of IgM antibodies tended to be more prevalent among women with miscarriage (7.0%) than among women attending antenatal care (4.5%), though the difference only approached statistical significance. CONCLUSION--The findings suggest a potential association between syphilis seropositivity and midtrimester miscarriage. Present findings justify more extensive studies to establish whether or not recent syphilis infection is a risk factor for midtrimester miscarriage.

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