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Treponema pallidum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Eubacteria
Phylum: Spirochaetes
Class: Spirochaetes
Order: Spirochaetales
Family: Spirochaetaceae
Genus: Treponema
Species: T. pallidum
Binomial name
Treponema pallidum
Schaudinn & Hoffmann, 1905

Treponema pallidum is a spirochaete bacterium. It is not seen on a Gram stained smear because the organism is too thin. Habitat: Human genital tract. Transmission happens by sexual contact and from mother to fetus across placenta.

Contents

Subspecies

There are at least four known subspecies:

  • Treponema pallidum endemicum, which causes bejel
  • T. pallidum carateum, which causes pinta
  • T. pallidum pertenue, which causes yaws
  • T. pallidum pallidum, which causes syphilis

There is some variation as to which are considered subspecies, and which are species. The cause of pinta is sometimes described as "Treponema carateum", rather than a subspecies of Treponema pallidum, even when the subspecies convention is used for the other agents.[1]

Laboratory identification

This bacterium is too thin to be visualized with a standard Gram stain so, two techniques to visualize it with a light microscope are dark field microscopy and immunofluorescence.

Treponema pallidum is also detected by serology, including nontreponemal (VDRL, Rapid plasma reagin (RPR) and treponemal antibody tests (FTA-ABS, Treponema pallidum immobilization reaction (TPI) and Syphilis TPHA test).[2]

Clinical significance

Journal.pntd.0000148.g004.png

T. pallidum pallidum is a motile spirochaete that is generally acquired by close sexual contact, entering the host via breaches in squamous or columnar epithelium. The organism can also be transmitted to a fetus by transplacental passage during the later stages of pregnancy, giving rise to congenital syphilis. The helical structure of T. pallidum pallidum allows it to move in a corkscrew motion through a viscous medium such as mucus. It gains access to host's blood and lymph systems through tissue and mucous membranes.

The subspecies causing yaws, pinta, and bejel are morphologically and serologically indistinguishable from T. pallidum pallidum (syphilis); however, their transmission is not venereal in nature and the course of each disease is significantly different.

Genome

In the July 17, 1998 issue of the journal Science, a group of biologists reported how they sequenced the genome of T. pallidum.[3] The recent sequencing of the genomes of several spirochetes permits a thorough analysis of the similarities and differences within this bacterial phylum. Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum has one of the smallest bacterial genomes at 1.14 million base pairs (Mb) and has limited metabolic capabilities, reflecting its adaptation through genome reduction to the rich environment of mammalian tissue.

Vaccine

There is no vaccine for syphilis. The outer membrane of T. pallidum has too few surface proteins for an antibody to be effective. Efforts to develop a safe and effective syphilis vaccine have been hindered by uncertainty about the relative importance of humoral and cellular mechanisms to protective immunity and the fact that T. pallidum outer membrane proteins have not been unambiguously identified.[4]

References

  1. ^ Antal GM, Lukehart SA, Meheus AZ (January 2002). "The endemic treponematoses". Microbes Infect. 4 (1): 83–94. PMID 11825779. http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1286457901015131.  
  2. ^ Fisher, Bruce; Harvey, Richard P.; Champe, Pamela C.. Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews: Microbiology (Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews Series). Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 0-7817-8215-5.  
  3. ^ Fraser CM, Norris SJ, Weinstock GM, et al. (July 1998). "Complete genome sequence of Treponema pallidum, the syphilis spirochete". Science (journal) 281 (5375): 375–88. PMID 9665876. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=9665876.  
  4. ^ Tomson FL, Conley PG, Norgard MV, Hagman KE (September 2007). "Assessment of cell-surface exposure and vaccinogenic potentials of Treponema pallidum candidate outer membrane proteins". Microbes Infect. 9 (11): 1267–75. doi:10.1016/j.micinf.2007.05.018. PMID 17890130. PMC 2112743. http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1286-4579(07)00200-6.  

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

Translingual

Etymology

Proper noun

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Wikipedia

Treponema pallidum

  1. a taxonomic species, within genus Treponema - the bacterium responsible for syphilis
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Wikispecies has information on:

Wikispecies

See also

  • See Wikispecies for subspecies

Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Treponema pallidum

Taxonavigation

Main Page
Superregnum: Bacteria
Regnum: Bacteria
Division: Spirochaetes
Classis: Spirochaetes
Ordo: Spirochaetales
Familia: Spirochaetaceae
Genus: Treponema
Species: T. pallidum
Subspecies: T. p. endemicum - T. p. pallidum - T. p. pertenue

Name

Treponema pallidum Schaudinn & Hoffmann, 1905

Vernacular names

Ελληνικά: Ωχρά Σπειροχαίτη
한국어: 매독균

Simple English

Treponema pallidum
File:Treponema
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Eubacteria
Phylum: Spirochaetes
Class: Spirochaetes
Order: Spirochaetales
Family: Spirochaetaceae
Genus: Treponema
Species: T. pallidum
Binomial name
Treponema pallidum
Schaudinn & Hoffmann, 1905

Treponema pallidum is a species of spirochaete bacterium with subspecies that cause treponemal diseases such as syphilis, bejel, pinta and yaws. It is not seen on a Gram stained smear because the organism is too thin.








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