Epidemiology of Syphilis in regional blood transfusion centres in Burkina Faso, West Africa

  • C Bisseye
  • M Sanou
  • BM Nagalo
  • A Kiba
  • TR Compaoré
  • I Tao
  • J Simpore


Introduction: Syphilis remains a major public health problem in  sub-Saharan Africa, including Burkina Faso. However, few published data are available on the prevalence of syphilis in the population. This study had two main objectives: to determine the seroprevalence of syphilis in a
cohort of 37,210 first time blood donors and to study socio-demographic factors associated with the risk of infection by Treponema pallidum.

Methods: Antibodies to Treponema pallidum were screened by using  Reagin Rapid Test (RPR) and confirmed by treponema pallidum  haemagglutination test (TPHA).

Results: The overall seroprevalence of syphilis was 1.5% among first time blood donors and was significantly different between centers (p <0.001). The infection was significantly higher in men than women among blood  donors in Ouagadougou and Fada N´gourma (P = 0.001 and P = 0.034). The overall seroprevalence of syphilis among blood donors was not  associated with either age group or HIV status. In contrast, a significantly high seroprevalence of syphilis was observed in blood donors with HBsAg (P = 0.014) and anti-HCV (P = 0.007) positive.

Conclusion: Our report shows a low seroprevalence of syphilis in the  representative sample of the population of Burkina Faso. The  seroprevalence of syphilis remains unequally distributed between urban and rural areas and was not associated with HIV infection.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1937-8688