Show Summary Details
Page of

Nonvenereal endemic treponematoses: yaws, endemic syphilis (bejel), and pinta 

Nonvenereal endemic treponematoses: yaws, endemic syphilis (bejel), and pinta

Chapter:
Nonvenereal endemic treponematoses: yaws, endemic syphilis (bejel), and pinta
Author(s):

David A. Warrell

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.070635_update_001

Update:

Differences between T. p. pallidum and T. p. pertenue strains—explored by comparing their whole genomes.

Updated on 31 May 2012. The previous version of this content can be found here.
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 26 March 2017

The endemic treponematoses are chronic, granulomatous diseases caused by morphologically and serologically identical spirochaetes of the genus Treponema. They are spread by intimate but nonsexual contact and sometimes by fomites, mainly among children. Treponema pallidum subsp. pertenue causing yaws (framboesia), T. pallidum subsp. endemicum causing endemic syphilis (bejel) and T. carateum causing pinta (carate) are distinguishable from T. pallidum subsp. pallidum, causing venereal syphilis, by their epidemiology and pathological effects and genomic structure (e.g. the arp gene).

Despite the successful WHO/UNICEF mass penicillin treatment campaign (1952–64), there has been a resurgence of yaws, mainly in West Africa. Children living in rural areas in warm, humid climates in tropical countries are most affected by yaws. About 10% of untreated cases develop late, disfiguring, or crippling lesions of skin, bone, and cartilage.

Endemic syphilis occurs in arid areas of the Sahel and Arabian peninsula. It presents with buccal mucocutaneous lesions from contaminated cups. Late systemic effects are much less common than in venereal syphilis. Pinta persists in small foci in southern Mexico and South America, causing hypo- or hyper-pigmented skin lesions. Single-dose benzathine penicillin is effective treatment.

Prevention is by improving hygiene and eliminating the reservoir of infection by mass treatment.

Acknowledgement: The author gratefully acknowledges inclusion of material from previous editions by his late friend and colleague Dr Peter L Perine.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.