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Classification and external resources
ICD-10 A65.
ICD-9 104
DiseasesDB 30090
MeSH D014211

Bejel, or endemic syphilis, is a chronic skin and tissue disease caused by infection by a subspecies of the spirochete Treponema pallidum.

Bejel is also known as Belesh, Dichuchwa, Endemic Syphilis, Frenga, Njovera, Nonvenereal Syphilis, Skerljevo, Siti, or Treponematosis-Bejel Type



Although the organism that causes bejel, Treponema pallidum endemicum,[1] is morphologically and serologically indistinguishable from Treponema pallidum pallidum, which causes venereal syphilis, transmission of bejel is not venereal in nature,[2] generally resulting from mouth-to-mouth contact or sharing of domestic utensils, and the courses of the two diseases are somewhat different.


Bejel usually begins in childhood as a small mucous patch, often on the interior of the mouth, followed by the appearance of raised, eroding lesions on the limbs and trunk. Periostitis (inflammation) of the leg bones is commonly seen, and gummas of the nose and soft palate develop in later stages.


Bejel is mainly found in arid countries of the eastern Mediterranean region and in West Africa, where it is known as sahel.


It is treatable with penicillin or other antibiotics, resulting in a complete recovery.

See also


  1. ^ Antal GM, Lukehart SA, Meheus AZ (January 2002). "The endemic treponematoses". Microbes Infect. 4 (1): 83–94. PMID 11825779.  
  2. ^ Pace JL, Csonka GW (October 1984). "Endemic non-venereal syphilis (bejel) in Saudi Arabia". Br J Vener Dis 60 (5): 293–7. PMID 6487985.  

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