Background and Objectives:
Syphilis is a classical sexually transmitted disease (STD), caused by Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum. In this retrospective study, we analyzed trends of syphilis prevalence in patient groups attending our tertiary care center.
Materials and Methods:
The data was obtained by reviewing laboratory records of the STD laboratory from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2011. Cases positive by both Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) and Treponema pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA) tests were analyzed for seroprevalence of syphilis in different groups, and to analyze the rising or falling trends, if any.
A total of 28,920 serum samples were received in the 6-year study period for VDRL testing, of which 972 (3.4%) were found to be reactive. Of these, 1722 sera were also submitted for TPPA testing, 374 (21.7%) of which were positive. A total of 375 samples were submitted for both tests, indicating biological false positivity of 0.27%. A rising trend, though not statistically significant, was observed in pregnant women, drug users and patients from wards/out-patient departments, while a statistically significant rise in prevalence of syphilis was found in HIV-positive individuals. A falling trend (not statistically significant) was observed in STD clinic attendees.
An increasing trend of syphilis was observed during the study period when all groups were analyzed together, especially in HIV-seropositive individuals, which calls for continued and sustained efforts for case detection, treatment, and preventive measures to contain the disease.