Journal article
Seropositivity of syphilis among individuals screened in a tertiary hospital in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia

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Publication Details
Author list: Nahid H. O. Wanni, Reem Al Dossary, Obeid E. Obeid, Nourah Hasan Al Qahtani, Zaheenul Islam Siddiqui, Ayman A. El-Badry, and Khaled R. Alkharsah
Publisher: Medknow Publications / King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre
Publication year: 2021
Journal: Annals of Saudi Medicine
Journal name in source: Annals of Saudi medicine
Journal acronym: ASM
Volume number: 41
Issue number: 1
Start page: 8
End page: 13
Number of pages: 6
ISSN: 0256-4947
Web of Science ID: 000616709100002
PubMed ID: 33550909
Scopus ID: 85100961617
eISSN: 0975-4466


Sexually transmitted infections are a serious public health problem. Syphilis, a multistage, curable chronic disease caused by the spirochete Treponema pallidum, remains a major health problem worldwide. The disease re-emerged in the era of HIV in many countries despite the accessibility of curative therapy and continuing public health efforts to eliminate it.


Analyse the seropositivity for syphilis.


Retrospective cross-sectional.


Tertiary hospital.


We retrospectively studied individuals who underwent screening tests for syphilis between January 2014 and December 2018. The samples that were positive by both screening and confirmatory tests were considered as confirmed positive for syphilis.


Syphilis positivity identified by chemiluminescence immunoassay, the rapid plasma reagin test, and specific antibodies against Treponema pallidum.


11 832.


Of the 11 832, 54 (0.45%) were confirmed as seropositive for syphilis. Thirty-three (61.1%) were non-Saudi; 21 (38.9%) were Saudis. Thirty (55.6%) cases were males. Twenty-two (40.74%) were married and 29 (53.70%) were unmarried. Of the 54 diagnosed as syphilis positive, 28 (51.9%) were expatriate workers screened for pre-employment. The percentage of syphilis among Saudis was 0.36%. In an overall chi-square analysis, a P<.0001 indicated a difference among nationalities in the frequency of syphilis. A post-hoc analysis showed that Somalians (P=.004) and Sudanese (P=.005) differed significantly from other nationalities.


The study showed that syphilis was low among the screened population. More than half of the syphilis positive cases in this study were household employees. Screening for syphilis assists in planning complementary services for target populations and improves syphilis control.


Retrospective design. Hospital-based findings may not be representative of the seroprevalence of syphilis in the general population.

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Last updated on 2021-08-04 at 14:05