[Serologic studies of non-venereal treponematoses in infants in Niamey, Niger]

J Julvez, A Michault, V Kerdelhue
Médecine Tropicale: Revue du Corps de Santé Colonial 1998, 58 (1): 38-40
Though no longer reported by health centers, non-venereal treponematoses is still endemic in both arid (Bejel) and Sahelo-soudanian (Pian) areas of Niger. This study describes randomized TPHA testing carried out among children under 5 years of age living in three different sections of Niamey. Clinical examination was not performed before testing. In the overall sample of 183 children, the percent of positive tests was 12.0% with no difference according to place of residence or age. Only 3 of 37 children under the age of 12 months were seropositive Relative levels were too high to be dismissed as serological artifacts. The most likely explanation for the high antitreponemic antibodies is endemic syphilis, or Bejel, which is increasing in this region. Results in children under the age of 12 months suggest that congenital syphilis is uncommon.

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