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Causes and symptoms of syphilis

What is syphilis?

Syphilis is a chronic systemic venereal disease of an infectious nature. It affects the skin, mucous membranes, internal organs, bones and nervous system. The disease is caused by bacteria Treponema pallidum. Syphilis is transmitted primarily through sexual contact, rarely through blood or through casual.

Depending on the stage of the disease, and syphilis may be primary, secondary, tertiary and congenital.

Primary syphilis is characterized by the appearance of the chancre and lymphadenitis. Secondary syphilis affects all systems, tissues and organs. Tertiary syphilis leads to death of the patient, and occurs when the disease is not treated for a long time. Congenital syphilis transmitted to the baby via the placenta from the mother.

Causes of syphilis

Cause the causative agent of syphilis is a bacterium called Treponema pallidum (Treponema pallidum). In the body, it usually enters through mucous membranes, wounds on the skin and through the blood. Patients with syphilis are contagious to other people.

The main mode of transmission has always been sexual contact. Rarely, syphilis is transmitted through everyday life: through utensils, cigarettes, personal hygiene items, etc. Disease prone and nurses: midwives, gynaecologists, dentists and laboratory workers in contact with patients.Infection is also possible through saliva, if syphilitic elements are found in the mouth of a sick person. Not contagious urine and sweat syphilitic, but breast milk and sperm are not. The likelihood of Contracting syphilis during a direct blood transfusion is quite small. Congenital syphilis is possible with placental transmission from mother to fetus.

It is proved that the number of bacteria Treponema pallidum, trapped in the body of a healthy person, affects the probability of infection. Thus, people who had repeated sexual contact with an infected person, the probability of contamination is much higher than those who had sporadic sexual contact.

The symptoms of syphilis

The main early symptom of primary syphilis is the appearance of the chancre (ulcer). This symptom shows up on the second or fourth week after infection. Most often, the chancre does not cause pain. Usually they are localized onthe genitals, near the anus, on the lips, mouth or in the skin, where the pathogen has penetrated. Looks like a chancre? First, he is a dim red spot, then produces a papule, which after some time turns into a sore. The chancre is usually delayed a month later, and the person may experience a false impression of recovery, but it's only the end of primary syphilis.

The beginning of secondary syphilis occur in the first to sixth month after the chancre heals. On the skin of a patient rashes appear pinkish or pale-red color, deteriorating appetite, reduced body mass, loss of hair, pains in joints, sore throat, headaches. Genital warts are formed. The symptoms of secondary syphilis occur within three to six months, after which the patient is no longer contagious. The disease is in a latent stage, but Treponema penetrates different tissues and organs (blood vessels, bone, the brain and spinal cord). Without adequate treatment the majority of patients this process lasts a lifetime or transformirovalsya in the tertiary (late) syphilis. It leads to a dangerous lesions of the eyes, heart, brain. Its complications are mental disorders, blindness, paralysis and death.

Congenital syphilis manifests with a variety of pathologies: deformity of the teeth, anemia, kidney disease, and so on.

Diagnosis of syphilis is performed using a blood test and rapid tests.

The treatment of syphilis

For treatment of primary and secondary syphilis do single injection of penicillin. In the case of latent, tertiary and congenital syphilis treatment requires more time and increased doses of penicillin, but usually is successful. Some patients are allergic to penicillin. In this case, they are administered tetracycline or erythromycin. Sexual partners of a patient with syphilis urgently examined. Even if VDRL is negative, they conduct preventive treatment with penicillin.

The danger of syphilis is that it can be hidden or mimic symptoms of various skin diseases. If syphilis occurs simultaneously with other sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis), first treat it, and then – associated infection.

In addition to penicillin in treatment of syphilis used immunomodulators, enzymes, vitamins and physiotherapy. It should be remembered that without proper treatment, syphilis leads to death.