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September 1947

PRENATAL SYPHILIS: Its Prevention by Use of Penicillin in Treatment of Pregnant Women with Early Infectious Syphilis

Author Affiliations


Dr. Bauer is Senior Surgeon in the United States Public Health Service and Venereal Disease Control Officer in Chicago.; From the Chicago Intensive Treatment Center, Venereal Disease Control Program, Chicago Board of Health in cooperation with the United States Public Health Service.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1947;56(3):349-356. doi:10.1001/archderm.1947.01520090069008

TWO REPORTS have been published recently,1 showing spectacularly favorable results in the prevention of prenatal syphilis with the use of penicillin in the treatment of syphilitic pregnant women. It is well known that mothers with syphilis which is beyond the infectious state may deliver normal nonsyphilitic children in a varying but large percentage of cases. Transmission of syphilis to the fetus occurs much more frequently when pregnant women have syphilis in the early infectious stages than in the later stages of the disease. The efficacy of any therapeutic procedure in preventing prenatal syphilis, therefore, will be evaluated most reliably by the effect on the offspring of mothers who during pregnancy had indisputable early infectious syphilis.

When rigidly selected, the number of patients whom we saw who had proved infectious syphilis during pregnancy was limited. To obtain a satisfactory number of cases for evaluation it is necessary to compile the

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