Latent syphilis is defined as that occurring in those patients with a positive serologic test for syphilis but without signs or symptoms of the disease. There is a further division of syphilis into early latent syphilis which is infection that is thought to have been present for less than one year and late latent if present for more than an entire year.
Of the two, early latency is more likely infectious with about 25% of patients going to develop signs of secondary syphilis, usually within one year. If a mother has a child during this time, the child may present with congenital syphilis. Late latency syphilis is known by the development of immunity to recurrence and acquired resistance to another infection and a concurrent decrease in the likelihood of congenital syphilis. Back to syphilis from latent syphilis