Error processing SSI file

Resources for STD Case Notification

Syphilis Surveillance Tools

Syphilis is an STI that follows a progression of stages. However, identifying the stage of syphilis in adults can be challenging. See the following resources for guidance on staging syphilis in adults for surveillance purposes.

The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Syphilis Case Definition provides clinical, laboratory, and epidemiological criteria used to stage syphilis.

See the CSTE Syphilis Case Definition


CDC’s Adult Syphilis Staging and Clinical Manifestations Classification Algorithms are useful tools for surveillance staging of adult syphilis and classification of clinical manifestations among adult syphilis cases. These algorithms do not supersede the CSTE syphilis case definition.

Download the Syphilis Algorithms (PDF)


The CSTE syphilis case definition and CDC’s staging algorithm should not be used for determining staging for clinical care. For more information on clinical staging and treatment recommendations for syphilis, see CDC’s STI Treatment Guidelines.

The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) offers a free “Case-based Surveillance for Syphilis” course. The course is divided into multiple lessons and discusses both adult and congenital syphilis surveillance.

Take the Surveillance Course


Automated Record Search and Review Algorithm for Syphilis

Public health agencies prioritize investigations of syphilis cases using:

  • Lab results (i.e., nontreponemal test titer)
  • Age and sex at birth
  • Prior syphilis history

However, these traditional methods miss potential cases. They also require many resources. CDC with the Florida Department of Health and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene developed a new algorithm for prioritizing case investigations. The new algorithm automates the traditional process.

Get the algorithm on GitHub (Instructions included)

Interested in learning more about the record search and review algorithm for syphilis? 

View the webinar from the National Coalition of STD Directors: Should your jurisdiction automate a syphilis record search process? Yes!

Reporting Guidance for the National Electronic Telecommunication System for Surveillance and the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System

The National Electronic Telecommunication System for Surveillance (NETSS) and the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) are data transfer and information technology architectural standards. NETSS and NEDSS are used by public health agencies to report STD surveillance information including:

  • Numbers of new STDs
  • Results from laboratory tests
  • Information on STD treatment


STD Surveillance Tips

Tips on select STD surveillance topics address frequently asked questions from STD program staff working in state, local, and territorial public health agencies.

Note: Previous versions of the STD Surveillance Tips were e-mailed to STD programs via the monthly STD Surveillance and Data Science Updates from CDC’s Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP). The content on this website includes minor edits to the original content.

Download STD Surveillance Tips

Error processing SSI file