OBJECTIVE: To study the prevalence of congenital syphilis and its risk factors in Italy.
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective study from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007. Data on mother-child pairs were collected for every syphilis seropositive mother.
RESULTS: Maternal syphilis seroprevalence at delivery was 0.17%. 207 infants were born to 203 syphilis seropositive mothers. In 25 newborns it was possible to diagnose congenital syphilis (20/100,000 live births). Maternal risk factors included age <20 years, no antenatal care and no adequate treatment. The infected babies were more often preterm or weighed <2000 g at birth.
DISCUSSION: Many syphilis seropositive mothers were foreign born but the risk of an infected newborn was not higher in foreign-born than in Italian seropositive women. The significant factors were lack of antenatal screening and inadequate maternal treatment.
CONCLUSION: Syphilis is a re-emerging infection in Italy. Prevention strategies should include antenatal serological tests for all pregnant women and treatment for infected mothers.
- Age Factors
- Birth Weight
- Infant, Newborn
- Infant, Premature
- Infant, Premature, Diseases
- Maternal Age
- Pregnancy Complications, Infectious
- Prenatal Care
- Prospective Studies
- Risk Factors
- Seroepidemiologic Studies
- Syphilis, Congenital
- Young Adult