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

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Related diseases

Chlamydia infection

Genital chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium.

Congenital syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochaeta Treponema pallidum. It is the third most frequently reported sexually transmitted disease in the
EU after chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and is spread through contact with infected body fluids or blood products.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis infection, ranging in severity from a mild illness that lasts only a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness resulting in cirrhosis and liver cancer.

HIV infection and AIDS

HIV is a virus which attacks the immune system and causes a lifelong severe illness with a long incubation period. The end-stage of the infection, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), results from the destruction of the immune system.

Lymphogranuloma venereum

LGV is a systemic STI caused by a specific type of Chlamydia trachomatis ( serovars L1 , L2, and L3 ).

Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It may also be transmitted mother-to-child (congenital syphilis).