Volume 101, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



In Brazil, the reported number of syphilis cases among pregnant women has markedly increased. We conducted a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence of infection and associated factors in pregnant women in Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Participants voluntarily completed a risk-factor questionnaire and provided blood specimens for unlinked anonymous testing for the presence of antibodies against , the causative agent of syphilis. Data of newborns were obtained from medical records. We performed univariate and multivariate regression analyses to assess associations with syphilis. The seroprevalence of syphilis in pregnant women was 4.4% ( = 29/661). Twenty-five newborns were seropositive for , and complications due to syphilis were observed in 28% ( = 7/25). Although 96.5% ( = 28/29) of women with syphilis received antenatal care, Venereal Disease Research Laboratory tests were performed in the first trimester for 47.6% ( = 10/21) of women. Women who received treatment in the third trimester (28.6%; = 6/21) were considered successfully treated at the time of delivery. The use of illicit drugs during pregnancy (odds ratio [OR]: 13.3, 95% CI: 1.9–91.2) and a history of abortion (OR: 3.7, 95% CI: 1.7–8) were associated with syphilis. Our findings highlight that the poor quality of antenatal care services contributes to the high prevalence of syphilis. In addition, there are social and behavioral risk factors associated with syphilis in pregnant women. Future studies are needed to determine limitations of clinical management and control services available to pregnant women with syphilis.


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Supplemental Tables

  • Received : 15 Nov 2018
  • Accepted : 10 May 2019
  • Published online : 12 Aug 2019

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