Disease pathophysiology: Syphilis is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies 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: Bacterial STD coinfectionswere diagnosed concurrently in 2120 (7%) of the 31,754 incident bacterial STD diagnoses (chlamydia, gonorrhea, infectious syphilis). In univariate logistic regression analyses, coinfections were significantly more often diagnosed in men who have sex with men (MSM, OR = 5.4) than in heterosexuals. Multivariate analyses showed a significant interaction between age and sexual preference.
Subsequent stratified analyses by sexual preference showed a linear rise in coinfections with age in MSM. In heterosexuals, by contrast, bacterial coinfections peaked in those aged 19 or less; they had 27% of coinfections, while having only 14% of monodiagnoses and 10% of consultations. Heterosexual STD clinic attendees of Surinamese or Antillean origin were significantly at higher risk for coinfection (OR = 6.5) than all other ethnicities. Major Research: Major Research on Syphilis is conducted by CORDIS.