Center for Human Genetics and Laboratory Diagnostics, Dr. Klein, Dr. Rost and Colleagues


Dr. med. Hartmut Campe, Dr. med. Hanns-Georg Klein

Scientific Background

Syphilis is caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidium. Untreated, disease progression exhibits several stages. Long-term effects of the infection can affect the skin, heart and central nervous system decades after the original infection.

Treponema is usually transmitted through sexual contact or through the placenta to the unborn child. In Germany, considerably more men than women are affected (see literature).

Due to the severe course of prenatal acquired infection (congenital syphilis), a syphilis screening test should be carried out in accordance with maternity guidelines in early pregnancy.