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European Journal of Dermatology

The epidemiological and clinical presentation of syphilis in a venereal disease centre in Paris, France. A cohort study of 284 consecutive cases over the period 2000-2007 Volume 19, numéro 5, September-October 2009

Auteurs
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Pavillon Tarnier, Hôpital Cochin, Université Paris 5-René Descartes, 89 rue d’Assas, 75006 Paris, France, Centre National de Référence de la Syphilis, Laboratoire de Dermatologie, UPRES EA 1833, Université Paris 5-René Descartes, 89 rue d’Assas, 75006 Paris, France, Department of Bacteriology, Pavillon Tarnier, Hôpital Cochin, Université Paris 5-René Descartes, 89 rue d’Assas, 75006 Paris, France
  • Mots-clés : CSF, cerebrospinal fluid, FTA-abs, fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption test, HAART, highly active antiretroviral therapy, HIV, human immunodeficiency virus, MSM, men having sex with men, STD, sexually transmitted disease, TPHA, Treponema pallidum hemagglutination assay, UK, United Kingdom, US, United States, VDRL, venereal disease research laboratory.
  • DOI : 10.1684/ejd.2009.0711
  • Page(s) : 484-9
  • Année de parution : 2009

Since 2000, the incidence of syphilis has risen in developed countries. An updated knowledge of syphilis features is the key for early diagnosis and treatment. Our objective was to appraise the clinical and epidemiological presentation of syphilis in Paris, France. A retrospective monocentric descriptive study of 284 consecutive syphilis cases was conducted in a venereal disease centre (Paris, France), over the period 2000-2007. Epidemiological, clinical and microbiological data were systematically collected, using standardized medical forms. Overall, 95% of the cases occurred in men (271/284), 83% in men having sex with men (MSM) (231/278), 58% in patients having more than 10 partners/year (138/240) and 19% in patients who never use a condom (49/253). At least one STD has been previously diagnosed in 79% (220/279) of the cases. In 50.5% of the cases (142/281), HIV serology was positive. Most patients had primary (82/279, 29%) or secondary (125/279, 45%) syphilis. The most frequent physical signs in primary and secondary syphilis were, respectively, a genital chancre (63/82, 77%) and a diffuse exanthema (108/125, 86%). Syphilis occurs chiefly in MSM, often in HIV-positive patients. Many patients never use condoms. These data will help provide the basis for the development of national information and screening campaigns.