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Syphilis in pregnancy

Errol R Norwitz, MD, PhD, MBA
Charles B Hicks, MD
Section Editors
Charles J Lockwood, MD, MHCM
John G Bartlett, MD
Deputy Editors
Vanessa A Barss, MD, FACOG
Jennifer Mitty, MD, MPH


Syphilis is a systemic infection caused by the spirochete Treponema pallidum, which is of particular concern during pregnancy because of the risk of transplacental infection of the fetus. Congenital infection is associated with several adverse outcomes [1-7], including:

Perinatal death

Premature delivery

Low birth weight

Congenital anomalies


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Literature review current through: May 2017. | This topic last updated: Mar 29, 2017.
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