How is endemic syphilis transmitted?

Updated: Sep 14, 2020
  • Author: Hassan I Galadari, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Species of the spirochete Treponema cause diverse infections in humans. T pallidum causes venereal syphilis. T carateum and T pertenue cause pinta and yaws, respectively. Endemic syphilis is caused by T pallidum subsp endemicum. [4]

Endemic syphilis is transmitted through direct or indirect skin-to-skin or mouth-to-mouth contact with the infected lesion. It occurs predominantly in children aged 2-15 years. Because children are the active transmitters of the disease, infection of all members of a household is very common.

Wearing gloves at all times is imperative for the physician who is examining lesions caused by endemic syphilis.

Congenital syphilis is rarely encountered, because the disease can be treated during pregnancy.

The common housefly, Musca domestica, has not been established as a potential vector.

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