Biomedical Research Priorities for Modern Syphilis Clinical Management, Diagnosis, and Vaccines: Overview and Commentary for Unit 1

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Abstract

The first session at the 2016 Syphilis Summit provided an opportunity for laboratory researchers and clinicians to comment on gaps in biomedical knowledge and technologies. Predominant themes in the presentations and discussion included the need for optimization of existing diagnostic tests, commercial availability, and Food and Drug Administration approval of nucleic acid amplification tests for primary and secondary syphilis, development of sensitive and specific new blood tests for diagnosis of active (vs treated) syphilis infection, clarification of the best measures for adequacy of response to treatment, continued study of complications of syphilis, including neurosyphilis and ocular syphilis, and development of a safe and effective vaccine that will protect against transmission and complications of disseminated infection (including congenital and neurosyphilis). Renewed and sustained support of biomedical syphilis research and an influx of talent could move the needle in the fight against this reemerging ancient disease.

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