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Congenital syphilis: Clinical features and diagnosis

Simon R Dobson, MD, FRCP(C)
Section Editors
Sheldon L Kaplan, MD
Leonard E Weisman, MD
Deputy Editor
Carrie Armsby, MD, MPH


Congenital syphilis occurs when the spirochete Treponema pallidum is transmitted from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection can result in stillbirth, prematurity, or a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations; only severe cases are clinically apparent at birth [1].

The clinical features and diagnosis of congenital syphilis will be discussed here. The evaluation, management, and prevention of congenital syphilis are discussed separately. (See "Congenital syphilis: Evaluation, management, and prevention".)

Syphilis in pregnancy and acquired syphilis also are discussed separately:

(See "Syphilis in pregnancy".)

(See "Syphilis: Epidemiology, pathophysiology, and clinical manifestations in HIV-uninfected patients".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Oct 25, 2016.
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