The UK NSC recommendation on Syphilis screening in pregnancy

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme recommended
Last review completed April 2018
Next review due in 2021/22
Key downloads

Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening recommended by UK NSC?

The UK NSC found that syphilis still occurs in young women and there is a continuing risk of it being passed on to their baby if it is not treated with antibiotics.

Further information on infectious diseases in pregnancy screening can be found here

More about Syphilis

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is typically passed through sexual contact. However, it can be passed on by intravenous drug use (injecting drugs directly into the vein), blood transfusions and from an infected mother to her unborn child. The latter is known as congenital syphilis.

» Read more about syphilis on NHS Choices

» Read more about syphilis screening

Screening in the UK

Compare how screening is offered across the UK.


British Association for Sexual Health and HIV
British Maternal & Fetal Medicine Society
Faculty of Public Health
Institute of Child Health
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Midwives
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

Related documents

icon Review of Syphilis Screening in Pregnancy (PDF document, 404KB, 19/12/13)
icon Summary and consultation responses for the review on antenatal screening for syphilis (PDF document, 124KB, 18/12/13)
icon Syphilis screening in pregnancy (PDF document, 411KB, 14/05/13)

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