Objectives Although congenital syphilis is a completely preventable disease, its incidence in Bulgaria has experienced an increase in the recent 15 years.
Methods A 25-day male newborn with a wide spectrum of clinical features of congenital syphilis is presented.
Results The child was hospitalised in a quite bad condition with fever, interstitial pneumonia, swollen and painful knee and tarsal joints, reduced active movement of the left schoulder, and erythemo-bullous rush of the palms and soles (palmoplantar pemphigus). The bone radiogram showed features of osteochondritis and periostitis of the femurs. The laboratory studies revealed haematological abnormalities (anaemia, leucocytosis), signs of inflammation and increase in aminotransferases. The syphilis blood serology was positive. The mother did not attend for antenatal care during her pregnancy and early latent syphilis was diagnosed. The treatment with Penicillin G led to a rapid improvement of the clinical status of the newborn.
Conclusions This case stresses on the variety of clinical symptoms and the main factors contributing to the raise of the congenital syphilis, i.e. insufficient prenatal care and reduced or absent screening in pregnant mothers, suboptimal laboratory diagnosis, and lack of sexual knowledge especially among the vulnerable groups of the community. The need of optimal syphilis management is obviously.
- congenital syphilis
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