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: India is on the verge of eliminating syphilis, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the country. In 2011, 3,698 cases (incidence 4.5/100,000 inhabitants) were notified, an increase of 22% over 2010. The increase was higher in men (23%) than women (13%) and 94% of the cases were male. Information on the possible way of transmission was available for 72% of cases. Of these, 84% were men who have sex with men, who seem to play a major role in the renewed increase in syphilis cases.
Treatment: The first choice for the treatment for syphilis is intramuscular benzathine penicillin G Doxycycline and tetracycline in alternative choice to those who are allergic to pencillins Resistance to macrolides, rifampin, and clindamycin is often present. Ceftriaxone, a third-generation cephalosporin antibiotic, may be as effective as penicillin-based treatment. It is recommended that a treated person avoid sex until the sores are healed.