Quantcast
Published On: Wed, Feb 27th, 2013

1.4 million pregnant women infected with syphilis globally: Study

The treatable sexually transmitted infection, syphilis, remains a major global health issue, particularly among pregnant women, according to a recent study published in the journal, PLoS Medicine.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

In the study, Global Estimates of Syphilis in Pregnancy and Associated Adverse Outcomes: Analysis of Multinational Antenatal Surveillance Data, researchers looked at  national syphilis seropositivity data from 97 of 193 countries and ANC coverage from 147 countries were obtained from World Health Organization (WHO) databases.

Proportions of adverse outcomes and effectiveness of screening and treatment were from published literature. Regional estimates of ANC syphilis testing and treatment were examined through sensitivity analysis.

What they found was that in 2008, 1.4 million pregnant women around the world were infected with syphilis, 80% of whom had attended antenatal care services, according to their estimates.

In consultation with experts, the authors used a realistic scenario to estimate the percentage of pregnant women tested for syphilis and adequately treated, ranging from 30% for Africa and the Mediterranean region to 70% for Europe. Based on this scenario, the authors estimate that in 2008, syphilis infections in pregnant women caused approximately 520,000 harmful outcomes, including 215,000 stillbirths, 90,000 neonatal (baby) deaths, 65,000 preterm or low birth-weight babies, and 150,000 babies with congenital infections.

The researchers conclude that syphilis continues to affect large numbers of pregnant women, causing substantial perinatal morbidity and mortality that could be prevented by early testing and treatment. In this analysis, most adverse outcomes occurred among women who attended ANC but were not tested or treated for syphilis, highlighting the need to improve the quality of ANC as well as ANC coverage.

 “Countries also need to ensure that quality-assured syphilis testing is available in all antenatal clinic settings, now possible even in remote care settings with the introduction of rapid point-of-care diagnostics”, according to the authors.

“In addition, efforts are needed to ensure universal access to early antenatal care, as well as improved quality of antenatal care so that all pregnant women receive an essential package of services that includes routine and early access to point-of-care testing and adequate treatment for syphilis if seropositive.”

The World Health Organization initiative to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of syphilis aims for ≥90% of pregnant women to be tested for syphilis and ≥90% to receive treatment by 2015.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

Looking for a job in health care? Check here to see what’s available

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd ) [ALL INFO CONFIDENTIAL]

About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

Tags

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter



Categories

Archives

At the Movies

Pin It