USPSTF Recommendation Statement on Screening for Syphilis Infection in Pregnant Women

Bottom Line: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends early screening for syphilis infection in all pregnant women.

Background: The USPSTF routinely makes recommendations about the effectiveness of preventive care services. This latest statement is an update of its 2009 recommendation on screening for syphilis infection in pregnant women. Untreated syphilis infection in pregnant women can be transmitted to the fetus (congenital syphilis) at any time during pregnancy or at birth, and is associated with stillbirth, neonatal death, and significant illness in infants (such as bone deformities and neurologic impairment). After a steady decline from 2008 to 2012, cases of congenital syphilis markedly increased from 2012 to 2016.

The USPSTF Concludes: 

Related Material

The following related elements from The JAMA Network are also available on the For The Media website:

— Screening for Syphilis Infection in Pregnant Women – US Preventive Services Task Force Reaffirmation Recommendation Statement

— Screening for Syphilis Infection in Pregnant Women – Updated Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force

— JAMA Dermatology editorial: Congenital Syphilis—Still a Shadow on the Land

— JAMA Patient Page: Screening for Syphilis in Pregnant Women