Single-dose benzathine penicillin in infants at risk of congenital syphilis : results of a randomised study

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1997

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South African Medical Journal

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of single-dose benzathine penicillin G in infants at high risk of congenital syphilis. DESIGN: Randomised study comparing benzathine penicillin with no therapy. SETTING: Peninsula Maternal and Neonatal Service, Cape Town. SUBJECTS: Asymptomatic infants born to mothers with untreated syphilis whose VDRL titre was 32 or more. OUTCOME MEASURES: The number of cases of congenital syphilis was determined by results of IgM Western blots and follow-up VDRL titres. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Of 8 patients followed up in the non-treatment group, 4 had congenital syphilis while 0/11 had the disease (P = 0.035) in the group receiving benzathine penicillin. Although the exact failure rate is unknown, benzathine penicillin is effective in preventing symptomatic congenital syphilis when administered to high-risk newborns.
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