Congenital syphilis - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2018

Surveillance report
Publication series: Annual Epidemiological Report on Communicable Diseases in Europe
Time period covered: This report is based on data for 2018 retrieved from The European Surveillance System (TESSy) on 9 December 2019.

ECDC’s annual surveillance reports provide a wealth of epidemiological data to support decision-making at the national level. They are mainly intended for public health professionals and policymakers involved in disease prevention and control programmes.

Executive summary

  • In 2018, 60 confirmed congenital syphilis cases were reported in 23 EU/EEA Member States, a crude rate of 1.6 cases per 100 000 live births.
  • For the first time since 2013, the number of notified cases of congenital syphilis increased in 2018.
  • This report may include some underreporting: seven countries did not contribute to the reporting of congenital syphilis and a further 12 reported no cases for 2018.
  • The low rates of congenital syphilis and of reported syphilis among women suggest that most Member States have effective programmes for elimination of congenital syphilis; the recent 50% increase over the previous year, however, deserves careful scrutiny. Better indicator data are needed to assess the effectiveness of antenatal screening programmes in all EU/EEA countri