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Seroprevalence of syphilis among women attending urban antenatal clinics in Burkina Faso, 1995–8
  1. I Sombié1,
  2. N Meda1,
  3. M Cartoux1,
  4. S Tiendrébéogo1,
  5. A Ouangré1,
  6. S Yaro1,
  7. O Ky-Zerbo1,
  8. B Dao2,
  9. P Van de Perre1,
  10. L Mandelbrot3,
  11. F Dabis4,
  12. for the DITRAME Study Group*
  1. 1Centre MURAZ, Organisation de Coordination et de Coopération pour la lutte contre les Grandes Endémies (OCCGE), Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
  2. 2Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Centre Hospitalier National Sourôf. Sanou, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
  3. 3Maternité Port Royal, Groupe Hospitalier Universitaire Cochin Port-Royal, Paris, France
  4. 4Unité INSERM 330, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux2, Bordeaux, France
  1. Nicolas Meda, Centre MURAZ/OCCGE, 01 PO Box 153 Bobo-Dioulasso 01, Burkina Faso, West Africa nmeda.muraz{at}


Objectives: To describe annual trends in syphilis seroprevalence and to identify risk factors of syphilis among pregnant women receiving antenatal care in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.

Methods: Women were recruited between January 1995 and July 1998 in three antenatal clinics where counselling and HIV testing services had been established in the context of a trial evaluating a short course of zidovudine to reduce mother to child transmission of HIV (ANRS 049 trial). Sociodemographic variables were collected during HIV pretest counselling sessions. Syphilis diagnosis was considered when serum was positive with both rapid plasma reagin and Treponema pallidum haemagglutination assay (TPHA) tests.

Results: Overall, 10 980 pregnant women were screened. Syphilis seroprevalence was 0.24% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.15–0.35) without changes over time. HIV prevalence was 8.8% (CI: 8.3–9.3). In a multivariable analysis, having casual sex partners (odds ratio (OR) = 4.48; CI: 1.62–12.38), being HIV seropositive (OR = 2.62; CI: 1.02–6.74), and being illiterate (OR = 3.78; CI: 1.24–11.48) were independent risk factors for syphilis infection.

Conclusions: This study suggests low syphilis seroprevalence in this city of Burkina Faso. Sexually transmitted disease programmes should be reinforced to offer free access to syphilis screening and treatment in order to eliminate this disease, in coordination with HIV prevention and care.

  • syphilis
  • HIV
  • pregnant women
  • Burkina Faso

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  • * Other members listed at end of paper.