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Testing for syphilis
  1. Michael Kemp1,
  2. Margaret Kingston2
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Manchester Centre for Clinical Neurosciences, Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, Salford, Manchester, UK
  2. 2The Hathersage Centre, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, Greater Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Margaret Kingston, The Hathersage Centre, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, Greater Manchester, UK; Margaret.Kingston{at}mft.nhs.uk

Abstract

Syphilis is no longer a disease headed for the history books but a disease on the resurgence. Its rising prevalence in populations of all sexualities has moved it from an unlikely differential diagnosis to an important one not to miss. With a latency to symptoms of sometimes many years, syphilis is a key disease to consider and does not need the clinician to attempt to risk assess the patient. This article seeks to equip the jobbing neurologist to recognise the manifestations of syphilis, and to understand the tests available, the interpretation of results and the limitations of testing. We provide an overview approach to assessing and managing these cases, what to expect and where to seek expert opinion and advice.

  • MICROBIOLOGY
  • INFECTIOUS DISEASES

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @mikejkemp

  • Contributors The article is based upon a plenary talk given by MKingston at the Association of British Neurologists in 2021. The article was written by MKemp, reviewed and edited by MKingston.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned. Externally peer reviewed by Nick Davies, London, UK and Nicola Lomax, Cardiff, UK.

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