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Name- Treponema Pertenue

Shape- Spiraled shaped

Disease caused by it- Yaws

How does the organism attack and spread.

Yaws begins when T. pertenue penetrates the skin at a site where skin was scraped, cut, or otherwise compromised. In most cases, T. pertenue is transmitted from person to person.


About 2 - 4 weeks after infection, the person develops a sore called a "mother yaw" where bacteria entered the skin. The sore is a growth that may be tan or reddish and looks like a raspberry. It is usually painless but does cause itching.

These sores may last for months. More sores may appear shortly before or after the mother yaw heals as the person scratches or spreads the bacteria from the mother yaw to uninfected skin. Eventually the skin sores heal.

Other symptoms include:

  • Bone pain
  • Scarring of the skin
  • Swelling of the bones and fingers

In the advanced stage, sores on the skin and bones can lead to severe disfigurement and disability. This occurs in up to 1 in 5 people who do not get antibiotic treatment.

Where is it most likely found?

  • The disease occurs mainly in poor communities in warm, humid, tropical areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Who is most likely to get attacked?

  • About 75% of people affected are children under 15 years of age (peak incidence occurs in children aged 6-10 years); males and females are affected and no race is exempt.

Most effective "weapons" against this organism.

How is this disease treated once a person is affected?

  • The disease is rarely fatal; however, it can lead to chronic disfigurement and disability. Yaws can be treated with a single dose of a cheap and effective antibiotic: Benzathine Penicillin injection cures the disease.
How can the disease be prevented in the first place?

  • There is no vaccine for yaws. Prevention is based on the interruption of transmission through early diagnosis and treatment of individual cases and mass or targeted treatment of affected populations or communities. Health education and improvement in personal hygiene are essential components of prevention.