Syphilis – The emergence of a pandemic cluster
The introduction of the antibiotic, Penicillin in the mid-twentieth century effectively treated Syphilis. This is still the first-line treatment for Syphilis.
The first reported outbreaks of Syphilis were reported in Europe in 1495 and spread rapidly to other continents, resulting in a pandemic strain of syphilis.
According to recent scientific research at the University of Zurich, a newer pandemic cluster (called SS14-Ω) emerged after the introduction of antibiotics in the mid-20 th century.
Current Syphilis infections are predominantly from this newer cluster.
Why is this important?
Syphilis infections (originating from SS14Ω) are very likely to be resistant to azithromycin, (a second-line antibiotic treatment for Syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases).
Much has been written in the news recently about drug-resistant infections, such as Gonorrhoea.
The drug resistance with Syphilis highlights the importance of correct choice of antibiotics and proper follow-up to ensure that treatment is effective. Incorrect antibiotic use will lead to incomplete cure, recurrence of infection and potential spread of Syphilis to other people.
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If you have Syphilis, it can be treated effectively with antibiotics.
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