Syphilis rates, like other sexually transmitted disease rates in the United States, are soaring, and the first known study to examine syphilis rates in patients with kidney failure found an incidence greater than three times that of the general population.
Neurosyphilis, in which the brain and entire central nervous system can be affected by the bacterium, whose impact ranges from asymptomatic to deadly, was the second most common syphilis type they found, investigators report in the Clinical Kidney Journal.
That neurosyphilis finding prompted the investigators to suggest that whenever a dialysis patient develops confusion, a syphilis test be part of their evaluation.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. Syphilis is completely treatable and preventable,” says Dr. Stephanie L. Baer, infectious disease physician at the Medical College of Georgia and chief of Infection Control and Epidemiology at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta.
Read more at Medical College of Georgia