oa South African Medical Journal - The effects of syphilis on the outcome of pregnancy in the native : a clinical and statistical survey

Volume 25, Issue 15
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



In a survey of 1,329 pregnancies of Native mothers free from syphilis, and a similar number suffering from latent syphilis, the difference in the groups showed an overall wastage in foetal and early infant life of 7.4% due to syphilis. Latent syphilis accounted for an increase of 3.2% in the combined abortion and still birth rate. Latent syphilis does not appear to be responsible for abortions. A small amount of treatment appears to postpone the death of the infant from foetal to early infant life. Syphilitic mothers attending the out-patient clinic are not protected by 004 gm. of mapharside or less. About one-half the infants die within the first month of life. Latent syphilis in the mother influences the infant mortality adversely to a degree of 5%-7%. Greater amounts of treatment to 1.4 gm. mapharside might prevent early death of the infant but offers inadequate protection to the mother as most of the children develop signs of congenital syphilis within the first year.

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