A new enhanced antibiotic treatment for early and late syphilis

Francesco Drago, Giulia Ciccarese, Francesco Broccolo, Giulia Sartoris, Paola Stura, Susanna Esposito, Alfredo Rebora, Aurora Parodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of an enhanced treatment regimen for syphilis with the addition of doxycycline and ceftriaxone to the conventional benzathine penicillin G (BPG) treatment. Sixty-nine syphilis patients were recruited and were randomly assigned to two groups: group 1 (38 patients) received standard therapy and group 2 (31 patients) received the enhanced therapy. All patients were followed-up for at least 12 months. Patients underwent physical examination and serology every 6 months as well as echocardiography and neurological examination every year. A three- to four-fold decline in the initial Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) titre within 6 months after therapy was considered as serological cure. At 12 months, 68% of patients in group 1 and 100% in group 2 were serologically cured (P = 0.002). During follow-up, no patients in group 2 experienced complications related to syphilis. In contrast, one patient in group 1 developed neurosyphilis. In conclusion, the enhanced treatment is more effective than standard treatment and results in a higher and faster cure rate. Moreover, it provides treponemicidal antibiotic levels in the cerebrospinal fluid, thereby preventing possible late complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-66
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Benzathine penicillin G
  • Ceftriaxone
  • Doxycycline
  • Syphilis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Microbiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'A new enhanced antibiotic treatment for early and late syphilis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this