Clinical case study of syphilis: Another example of the "Great Imitator"

Ronald Marple, Catherine Ling, Jacquelyn Pollack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Secondary syphilis is one of the more difficult sexually transmitted diseases to diagnose because it can resemble several other, more benign diseases. Thus, it is sometimes referred to as the "Great Imitator." In this article we describe a case of syphilis in an active-duty soldier who did not have the typical signs and symptoms of secondary syphilis. Because secondary syphilis can be difficult to identify, and because untreated secondary syphilis may progress to the debilitating and deadly tertiary stage, we present a basic strategy for diagnosing secondary syphilis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-736
Number of pages8
JournalJournal for Nurse Practitioners
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Great Imitator
  • Military
  • Secondary syphilis
  • Sexually transmitted disease
  • Treponemal and nontreponemal tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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