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 journalArticle


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)

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  • Cite this

    Drago, F., Ciccarese, G., Broccolo, F., Sartoris, G., Stura, P., Esposito, S., Rebora, A., & Parodi, A. (2016). A new enhanced antibiotic treatment for early and late syphilis. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance, 5, 64-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jgar.2015.12.006