Disease pathophysiology: Syphilis is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidumsubspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis. Other human diseases caused by related Treponema pallidum include yaws (subspecies pertenue), pinta (subspecies carateum) and bejel (subspecies endemicum).
Disease Statistics: he re?emergence of infectious syphilis in Western Europe and the USA after a period of decline has been described.1,2 In Italy, cases of early syphilis (primary, secondary and early latent) increased significantly after 2001.3 In all these settings, the epidemic of infectious syphilis has largely been confined to homosexual men, although in the UK there is evidence that diagnoses of syphilis rose by 255% in women between 2000 and 2004.4
The spread through the heterosexual route, the involvement of women and re?emergence of congenital syphilis have not been clearly documented in Italy and other Western European countries. We describe two cases of early, symptomatic congenital syphilis in a region where the disease had not been documented for several years. Major Research: Major Research on Syphilis is conducted by Italian Research.