Treponema pallidum

Treponema pallidum (Culture)

  • T. p. pertenue
  • T. p. carateum

Treponema pallidum ( " turn, " greek τρέπειν νήμα "yarn"; Latin pallidus " pale " ) is a helically wound bacteria from the family of spirochetes.

The species is divided into several subspecies ( ssp ): The subspecies Treponema pallidum ssp. pallidum is the causative agent of syphilis. In the ulcer from durum, the primary lesion of syphilis, separate secretion is detectable in large numbers.

The subspecies T. pallidum ssp. endemicum is causative agent of venereal syphilis non- ( Bejel ), T. pallidum ssp. pertenue of yaws and T. pallidum ssp. carateum the Pinta.


The bacterium is 5-15 microns long and 0.2 microns wide, has 10-20 turns and can move by rotation about its longitudinal axis. Due to the fine structure of the representation with dyes in microscopy is difficult, the method of dark field microscopy leaves much to live observations. A cultural evidence is not yet possible.


After it had been for years, he looks in vain for the causative agent of syphilis, Fritz Schaudinn and Erich Hoffmann succeeded at the Charité in Berlin in 1905, the first microscopic detection.

A microscopic detection of bacteria in the blood is uncertain. The pathogen is created derived fluid during primary stage of syphilis directly from the chancre (ulcus durum), in the secondary stage, the secretion can which is examined in the dark field microscope also be obtained from a condyloma latum.

The pathogen has been reported.

Detection of antibodies

A serological blood test can make specific and sensitive antibodies directed against Treponema pallidum identified. The antibodies are produced by



Treponema bacteria can be treated with high doses of antibiotics, such as penicillin G, or allergies 3rd generation cephalosporins, macrolides or tetracyclines. More is in the article syphilis.