ECDC publishes annual epidemiological reports on syphilis and congenital syphilis for 2017

16 July 2019

Article: 53/2806

On 12 July 2019 the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published the Syphilis Annual Epidemiological Report for 2017.

In 2017, 33,189 confirmed syphilis cases were reported in 28 EU/EEA member states. Reported syphilis rates were nine times higher in men than in women and peaked among 25 to 34 year-old men. Two-thirds of syphilis cases, with information on transmission category, were reported in men who have sex with men (MSM). The trend in syphilis rates has been on the rise since 2011, particularly among men, mainly due to an increase in the number of cases among MSM. The slight increase of syphilis rates among women, seen already in 2016, continued in 2017.

Also on 12 July 2019, the ECDC published a technical report on syphilis and congenital syphilis in Europe, including a review of epidemiological trends from 2007 to 2018 and options for response. 

Since 2010, syphilis notification rates in the EU/EAA have been on the increase, and have accelerated predominantly among men having sex with men (MSM), with similar trends observed in high income countries outside the EU/EAA. The overall trend remains relatively stable, but outbreaks or clusters of syphilis cases have been reported among heterosexual populations in the EU/EEA. In several high income countries, including the USA, increases in congenital syphilis has occurred in connection with increased syphilis notifications among women.

Source: ECDC, 12 July 2019