Syphilis - Treponema pallidum Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Syphilis - Treponema pallidum Deck (7):

What is syphilis?

- Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochaete Treponema pallidum.
- Infection is characterised by primary, secondary and tertiary stages.
- The incubation period is between 9-90 days


What are the primary features of syphilis?

- chancre - painless ulcer at the site of sexual contact
- local non-tender lymphadenopathy
- often not seen in women (the lesion may be on the cervix)


What are the secondary features of syphilis?

- systemic symptoms: fevers, lymphadenopathy
- rash on trunk, palms and soles
- buccal 'snail track' ulcers (30%)
- condylomata lata


What are the tertiary features of syphilis?

- gummas (granulomatous lesions of the skin and bones)
- ascending aortic aneurysms
- general paralysis of the insane
- tabes dorsalis
- Argyll-Robertson pupil


What are the features of congenital syphilis?

- blunted upper incisor teeth (Hutchinson's teeth), 'mulberry' molars
- rhagades (linear scars at the angle of the mouth)
- keratitis
- saber shins
- saddle nose
- deafness


How do you treat syphilis?

1) I.M. Benzylpenecillin (doxycycline and tetracycline alternatives if allergy)
2) ceftriaxone
3) late infections large doses of I.V. penecillin for 10 days, if allergic ceftriaxone


What can be a complication of treatment?

The Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction is sometimes seen following treatment. Fever, rash, tachycardia after first dose of antibiotic. It is thought to be due to the release of endotoxins following bacterial death and typically occurs within a few hours of treatment.