Powerpoint PowerPoint SYPHILIS By: Etiology Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum (CDC, 2021





Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum (CDC, 2021).


T pallidum get into the body system during sexual contact (Hicks & Clement, 2019).

The bacteria enters the lymph nodes and blood and spread throughout the body

T. pallidum connect to blood vessels causing inflammation.

The organisms also spread to various organs causing lesions

The parasites may attack the central nervous system at any time


Syphilis is transmitted from one person to another through contact with a syphilitic sore called Chancre (Stoltey & Cohen, 2015).

Chancres may be found in male and female genital areas, in the vagina, around the anus or rectum and in the mouth.

Syphilis is transmitted during sex; either oral, vaginal or anal

It can also be passed by pregnant mothers to their unborn children

Risk factors


Transmission cont’d

Agent: Treponema pallidum

Reservoir: Humans

Incubation time depends on the stage (Stoltey & Cohen, 2015)

Primary syphilis :2-3 weeks

Secondary syphilis: 6-12 weeks

latent syphilis: less than 2-5 years

Tertiary syphilis: more than five years


Clinical Manifestation

painless sores (chancre) on the genitals or in the mouth, anus, or rectum (Choudhri et al., 2018).


Red rashes on various body parts



Sore throat,


Hair loss

Clinical Manifestation continuation

LATENT STAGE: No visible symptoms


trouble moving
arms and legs


heart condition

Damage to brain and CNS


Blindness(Choudhri et al., 2018)

Diagnostic Test

Testing can be done on the blood, bodily fluid, and tissue samples. Some tests include:

Blood tests

Lumbar puncture: collects cerospinalfluid to detect cental nervous system damage which is a clinical manifestation of syphilis

Darkfeild Microcopy: uses a microscope to detects the syphilis germ from tissues or fluid from open sores

Treatment/ Immunization

Syphilis is treatable using antibiotics

In the early stages; A single injection of long-acting Benzathine penicillin G can treat syphilis (CDC, 2021).

For latent syphilis, doctors recommends weekly three doses of long-acting Benzathine penicillin G for unspecified period (Taylor et al., 2016)

Syphilis Treatment does not mend damage already experienced.

No vaccine available

Education/Control Measures

Avoid casual/unprotected sex

If sexually active avoid multiple partners (CDC, 2021).

Use latex condoms appropriately (NB: sores may occur in areas not covered by condom leading to transmission of syphilis)

Inform partner and avoid sex if undergoing syphilis treatment

Antenatal screening and penicillin therapy can reduce mother to child transmission during pregnancy


What is the causative agent for the syphilis disease?

What are some risk factors for the syphilis disease?


Questions & Answers

What is the causative agent for the syphilis disease?

Treponema pallidum

What are some risk factors for the syphilis disease?

unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners, mother to child transmission



CDC (2021). Syphilis – CDC Fact Sheet. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis-detailed.htm

Choudhri, Y., Miller, J., Sandhu, J., Leon, A., & Aho, J. (2018). Sexually transmitted infections: Infectious and congenital syphilis in Canada, 2010–2015. Canada Communicable Disease Report, 44(2), 43.

Hicks, C. B., & Clement, M. (2019). Syphilis: epidemiology, pathophysiology, and clinical manifestations in HIV-uninfected patients. Edited by Jeanne Marrazzo and Jennifer Mitty. UpToDate, Wolters Kluwer, 24.

Stoltey, J. E., & Cohen, S. E. (2015). Syphilis transmission: a review of the current evidence. Sexual health, 12(2), 103-109.

Taylor, M. M., Nurse-Findlay, S., Zhang, X., Hedman, L., Kamb, M. L., Broutet, N., & Kiarie, J. (2016). Estimating benzathine penicillin need for the treatment of pregnant women diagnosed with syphilis during antenatal care in high-morbidity countries. PloS one, 11(7), e0159483.

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