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Understanding Congenital Syphilis

Porter, Sallie, DNP, PhD, APN; Qureshi, Rubab, MD, PhD; Benenson, Irina, DNP, FNP-C CEN

doi: 10.1097/IYC.0000000000000125
Original Research/Study

The incidence of infants with congenital syphilis (CS) has been accelerating in the United States and remains an issue of global concern. Infants with CS often experience poor birth, health, and developmental outcomes. These poor outcomes (e.g., prematurity, bone changes, neurodevelopmental impairment) may be exacerbated by social vulnerabilities (e.g., housing instability, incarceration) experienced by their mothers and families. As such, infants with CS may benefit from neurodevelopmental assessments offered early in life, comprehensive in scope, and repeated over time; developmental intervention, as well as family support services that acknowledge the co-occurring health, developmental, and social challenges they may face.

Division of Advanced Nursing Practice (Drs Porter and Benenson) and Division of Nursing Science (Dr Qureshi), Rutgers School of Nursing, Newark, New Jersey; and New Jersey Leadership Education, Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Boggs Center (Dr Porter), Rutgers Center for Gender, Sexuality, Law, and Policy (Dr Qureshi), and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (Dr Benenson), New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Correspondence: Sallie Porter, DNP, PhD, APN, Rutgers School of Nursing, Division of Advanced Nursing Practice, 65 Bergen St, Newark, NJ 07101 (

The authors thank Margaret P. Disston for her editing assistance.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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