Recent change in congenital syphilis in Korea: Retrospective 10 year study

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Abstract

Background:

This study was conducted to evaluate recent clinical and anthropologic features of neonates with reactive serology for syphilis and their mothers from three institutions in Korea over an 11-year-period.

Method:

The medical records of 20 neonates with reactive serology for syphilis and their mothers at three centers (Kyung Hee University Hospital, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, and Korea Electric Power Corporation Hospital) seen between January 2000 and December 2010 were reviewed retrospectively.

Results:

Among 20 mothers, 16 (80%) were native Korean and four (20%) were foreign-born immigrants. Two mothers (10%) were unmarried. The annual distribution of cases was three (15%) in 2000, one each (5%) in 2005 and 2006, respectively, two each (10%) in 2007 and 2008, respectively, six (30%) in 2009, and five (25%) in 2010. Just over half (55%) occurred across 2009 and 2010. All neonates, by definition, were diagnosed with presumptive congenital syphilis (CS). Among the neonates, four had positive cerebrospinal fluid venereal disease research laboratory test, and three exhibited symptoms and signs.

Conclusions:

In three centers in Seoul, Korea, the observed number of CS cases was higher in 2009 and 2010 than in previous years. This finding is consistent with a trend toward increasing prevalence of international marriage and suggests that more meticulous screening of CS is needed.

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