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Yaws and Other Endemic Treponematoses Jack McCarrick Yaws and its relatives are caused by spirochete bacteria Treponema pallidum The endemic treponematoses are mainly transmitted by human-tohuman contact Yaws is typically found in tropical areas of Africa, South America, and Asia The first sign of yaws is a primary lesion known as a “mother yaw” Without treatment, secondary widespread lesions form After years without treatment, larger problems may develop Gangosa Sabre Tibia Endemic syphilis (bejel) is usually found in dry, hot climates (mainly in West Africa) Endemic syphilis starts with primary white ulcers in the mouth and can end up like late yaws Pinta is primarily found in arid climates in Central and South America Pinta starts out similar to yaws but can eventually lead to hyperpigmentation or depigmentation What do we understand about the pathogenesis of these diseases? Not much These diseases can be diagnosed in two ways Dark field microscopy Serological Tests Benzathine penicillin is the main drug of choice for treatment Between 1950 and 1970, WHO and UNICEF led a campaign to treat people in 46 countries It worked, but these diseases now receive little attention References • Antel, George M., et al. “The Endemic Treponematoses.” Microbes and Infection 4.1 (January 2002): 83-94. • Desrosiers, Daniel C. and Radolf, Justin D. “Treponema pallidum, the stealth pathogen, changes, but how?” Molecular Microbiology 72.5 (May 2009): 1081-1086. • Perine, Peter L. Handbook of Endemic Treponematoses : Yaws, Endemic Syphilis, and Pinta. Geneva: World Health Organization ;, 1984. Print. • Schell, Ronald F., and Daniel M. Musher. Pathogenesis and Immunology of Treponemal Infection. New York: M. Dekker, c1983. Print. • Yaws: A forgotten disease. World Health Organization., January 2007. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs316/en/index.html.