Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Case Of Syphilis

A 39-year-old woman presents with a non healing ulcer over her upper lip (picture shown below) for 1 week and a new-onset rash on her trunk .
The ulcer on her upper lip was misdiagnosed as herpes simplex by the previous physician. Sexual history revealed that the patient had oral sex with a boyfriend who had a lesion on his penis and she suspected that he had been having sex with other women.

The examining physician recognized the nonpainful ulcer and rash as a combination of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis. An RPR (rapid plasma reagin) was drawn and the patient was treated immediately with IM benzathine penicillin. The RPR came back as 1:128 and the ulcer was healed within 1 week.

Case Discussion:

Syphilis, caused by Treponema pallidum, is a systemic disease characterized by multiple overlapping stages:

  • primary syphilis (ulcer), 
  • secondary syphilis (skin rash, mucocutaneous lesions or lymphadenopathy),
  • tertiary syphilis (cardiac or gummatous lesions), and 
  • early or late latent syphilis (positive serology without clinical manifestations).
  • Neurosyphilis can occur at any stage. 
Etiology: Syphilis is caused by the spirochete T. pallidum and contracted through direct sexual contact with primary or secondary lesions. Congenital syphilis can be contracted across the placenta.

Risk Factors: include:
• Sexual contact with a person with primary or secondary syphilis.
• Multiple Sexual Partners.
• Prostitution.
• Sex for drugs.

Clinical Features:
• Primary syphilis is associated with a chancre—Usually a nonpainful ulcer . The presence of pain does not rule out syphilis, and the patient with a painful genital ulcer should be tested for both syphilis and herpes.

• Secondary syphilis occurs when the spirochetes become systemic and may present as a rash with protean morphologies, condyloma lata, and/or mucous patches.

• Tertiary syphilis may be visualized with gummas on the skin, but many of the manifestations are internal such as the cardiac and neurologic diseases that occur (e.g., aortitis, tabes dorsalis, and iritis).
shows a gumma of the scrotum.

• Neurosyphilis can occur at any stage. Clinical symptoms include cognitive dysfunction, vision or hearing loss, uveitis or iritis, motor or sensory abnormalities, cranial nerve palsies, or symptoms of meningitis.

• Serologic tests are either nontreponemal (RPR or VDRL), which measure anticardiolipin antibodies, or treponemal (EIA, TPPA, FTA-ABS, or MHA-TP), which measure antibodies to T. pallidum.
• There are two algorithms for laboratory testing currently in use around the world:
1. Start with a low-cost nontreponemal test and confirm a positive result with a treponemal test.
2. Start with the EIA treponemal test, followed by a nontreponemal test for confirmation.
• In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a treponemal EIA initially, with positive results followed by a nontreponemal test for confirmation, a strategy that detected an additional 3% of positive samples not identified in the nontreponemal–treponemal sequence.
• A nontreponemal test is required for confirmation, as a treponemal EIA indicates exposure but not active infection.
• A positive EIA with a negative RPR can be a previous treated or untreated infection, a false positive, or early primary syphilis. In this case, retest with a second treponemal test.
• Dark-field microscopy is useful in evaluating moist cutaneous lesions, such as chancre, mucous patches, and condyloma lata
• Test all patients with syphilis for HIV
• Patients with syphilis who have any signs or symptoms suggesting neurologic disease including vision or hearing need a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) exam, a slit-lamp ophthalmologic examination, and an otologic examination to determine if neurosyphilis is present.

Treatment:  is penicillin; the dose and duration depend on the stage.


  1. Hello, my name is Betty. i was diagnosed of HIV virus 4 years back. Before then, i was dating this Derrick guy. we had something great going on. Our love life only lasted for 8 months. the sixth and seven month of our relationship, i began feeling very weak every now and then. But i never suspected anything until I kept on experiencing different symptoms like having sore throats, constant headache, body weakness e.t.c. I decided to go for a medical check up. I was tested HIV positive. when the doctor broke the news to me, it was as if my whole world had crumbled. it dawned on me then that Derrick has been lying to me. i was very mad to an extent i almost committed suicide. But there was nothing i could do, other than weep and weep. ever since then, i have been spending heavily on medications, going from one medical clinic or the other so I can look healthy. Though since i was a kid, i love herbs a lot. i take herbal tea with grandma while growing so i am quite familiar with herbs. early last year, i was on the internet and on a particular health blog, to check for herbal medication as alternative. I saw many comments and read many testimonies. Until i came across a particular testimony on how Dr.ugo cured a patient from herpes simplex virus using pure natural herbs. i reached out to the doctor because I also was thinking Herpes had no cure. I told him about my HIV status.He encouraged me not to panic that he will help me get my deliverance. he prepared some herbs and sent them to me. The herbs were in four 70ml bottles and I took them morning and night. i used as he directed, and in less than three weeks, i started having appetite to eat plenty of food and i gained back my strength. the fourth week,I consumed all the herbal meds. He encouraged me to go for a test which i did. This time, the result was negative. I quickly contacted the doctor and informed him of the news. I immediately asked him to prepare for Derrick too. He did and sent it. Today, me and Derrick are HIV free. All thanks goes to God Almighty for healing us through Dr.Ugo. if you are having any kind of sickness at all, Dr.Ugo is the right person to talk to and i assure you, you will be glad you did. His email: you can also write him on WhatsApp +2348104990619.

  2. Nice blog
    Have been totally convinced that HIV,and many others dangerous diseases can be best cured using the Herbal Medicine. Dr.Akpu the great and powerful herbalist cured me with his Herbal remedy. I'm Linda,15 years from Texas. I was born with HIV. I lost parents at my teenager age when I was 4th. I had to grew up with my mum only Sister, whom I loved so much. She was so worried about my life as my condition was her mature problem in life. I had taken lots of antiviral treatment to get ride of the virus not believing what there said HIV has no cure. I was on the internet when i came across blogs of testimony about a lady who where cured of a 7 years diagnose of Herpes by this powerful Herbalist, Dr.Akpu.I wrote down his mail @
    I told my Aunt,luckily it was the same Dr,we where referred to few months back by my pastor in church whom members have being testifying about of his cure We did contacted him and explained my problem to him.He prepared the medicine and sent to me with details of how to use and apply. After a while, I began to feel more strong than never before, I felt so lucky and happy when my Doctor congratulated me that he could found no HIV virus again in me. I knew I was free cos my body was so strong. His herbal medicine should have saved my parents life, i said!
    Thanks so much for reading my article, you should share your testimony if you have cure as well
    Is the solution