Nav: Home

Syphilis infections on the rise in Europe

May 18, 2016

New data released in ECDC's Annual Epidemiological report show that since 2010, the overall syphilis rates have been going up across Europe, particularly among men. In 2014, the reported syphilis numbers were six times higher in men than in women. Almost two-thirds (63%) of the syphilis cases reported with information on transmission category were recorded in men who have sex with men (MSM).

In 2014, 24 541 syphilis cases were reported in 29 EU/EEA Member States (no data from Austria and Liechtenstein), resulting in an overall rate of 5.1 per 100 000 population. The majority of infections were reported in people older than 25 years while young people between 15 and 24 accounted for only 13% of cases.

Between 2010 and 2014, many countries, particularly in western Europe, saw a sharp upsurge in the number of reported syphilis infections, with increases of over 50% in Belgium, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal and the United Kingdom. While the data show a marked increase of syphilis cases among men across Europe, cases among women have decreased.

Largest increase among those aged 45 and over. Between 2005 and 2014, 208 134 cases of syphilis were reported in 30 countries. Over this decade, the proportion of cases among age groups below 35 years went down, while they went up among those aged 35 years or over. The largest increases were seen in those aged 45 years or over: their proportion rose from 18% to 30%.

The overall increasing trend of syphilis in many EU/EEA countries - driven by infections among MSM -- is likely linked to changes in sexual behaviour in this group. More complete reporting and improved case detection through, for example, more testing among HIV-positive MSM, as recommended in current HIV management guidelines, have also contributed to this trend.

Promoting safe sexual behaviour and increasing testing rates among risk groups through targeted prevention campaigns is essential to prevent cases and reduce the risk of the complications of late stages of syphilis infection through earlier diagnosis. Approaches that use social media and dating apps for prevention campaigns may be considered in addition to traditional approaches.

Read the full chapter on syphilis in the Annual Epidemiological Report.
-end-
More information:

ECDC Surveillance Atlas of infectious Diseases: syphilis

Understanding the impact of smartphone applications on STI/HIV prevention among men who have sex with men in the EU/EEA

http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/_layouts/forms/Publication_DispForm.aspx?List=4f55ad51-4aed-4d32-b960-af70113dbb90&ID=1376

Antenatal screening for HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis and rubella susceptibility in the EU/EEA

http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/Publications/antenatal-screening-HIV-hepatitis-B-syphilis-rubella-EU.pdf

ECDC Guidance: HIV and STI prevention among men who have sex with men

http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/Publications/hiv-sti-prevention-among-men-who-have-sex-with-men-guidance.pdf

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Related Syphilis Articles:

Expert unravels disease that took the hearing of world-famous painter
Francisco Goya is the most important Spanish artist of the late 18th and early 19th century.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Post-SARS, infection rates in China have steadied, but fast-growing and common infections now need attention
Following the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, China stepped up its prevention and control methods for all infectious diseases, and rates of infection have levelled off since 2009.
Antenatal screening in Europe: How to avoid mother-to-child transmission of infections
Transmission of infections with HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis or rubella from mother to child before and during birth as well as in infancy still occur across Europe -- despite existing prevention methods.
HIV treatment might boost susceptibility to syphilis, say researchers
The antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV infection might inadvertently be boosting gay/bisexual men's susceptibility to the bacteria responsible for syphilis, Treponema pallidum, conclude researchers in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.
HIV therapy could be contributing to syphilis outbreak: UBC study
Drugs used to treat HIV could affect how the body responds to syphilis, inadvertently contributing to a current outbreak, a new study suggests.
Re-emergence of syphilis traced to pandemic strain cluster
Over the last few decades, an age-old infectious disease has been re-emerging globally: syphilis.
Screening for syphilis recommended for persons at increased risk of infection
The US Preventive Services Task Force has found convincing evidence that screening for syphilis infection in asymptomatic, nonpregnant persons at increased risk for infection provides substantial benefit.
Clay country poet suffered from congenital syphilis
Cornish 'Poet of the Clay' Jack Clemo became blind and deaf because of congenital syphilis inherited from his father, a new University of Exeter study has found.
Syphilis infections on the rise in Europe
New data released in ECDC's Annual Epidemiological report show that since 2010, the overall syphilis rates have been going up across Europe, particularly among men.
A brief history of syphilis points to a neglected disease in sub-Saharan Africa
It is known that syphilis rates have varied much between different countries and populations over the past 100 years.

Related Syphilis Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Don't Fear Math
Why do many of us hate, even fear math? Why are we convinced we're bad at it? This hour, TED speakers explore the myths we tell ourselves and how changing our approach can unlock the beauty of math. Guests include budgeting specialist Phylecia Jones, mathematician and educator Dan Finkel, math teacher Eddie Woo, educator Masha Gershman, and radio personality and eternal math nerd Adam Spencer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#517 Life in Plastic, Not Fantastic
Our modern lives run on plastic. It's in the computers and phones we use. It's in our clothing, it wraps our food. It surrounds us every day, and when we throw it out, it's devastating for the environment. This week we air a live show we recorded at the 2019 Advancement of Science meeting in Washington, D.C., where Bethany Brookshire sat down with three plastics researchers - Christina Simkanin, Chelsea Rochman, and Jennifer Provencher - and a live audience to discuss plastics in our oceans. Where they are, where they are going, and what they carry with them. Related links:...