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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: É. Nemes-Nikodém, E. Vörös, K. Pónyai, L. Párducz, S. Kárpáti, F. Rozgonyi and Eszter Ostorházi

From January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2011, from 33,753 blood samples for syphilis screening, Treponema pallidum infections were confirmed in 241 pregnant women at the Department of Dermatology, Venerology, and Dermatooncology of Semmelweis University Budapest. In this period, four children born to inadequately or untreated women were confirmed to have connatal syphilis. The height of rapid plasma reagin (RPR) titer was measured to determine the stage of the infection and to examine the success of the antilues therapy. The diagnosis of maternal syphilis infection was confirmed with enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), T. pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA), and IgG and IgM immunoblots. Maternal IgM immunoblot results identify mothers at risk of delivering babies with connatal syphilis better than the height of maternal RPR titer. The standard serological tests are less useful in newborns because of IgG transfer across the placenta. IgM test which depends on the infant’s response has more specificity in diagnosing connatal syphilis.

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