Treponema pallidum

species of bacterium

Treponema pallidum is a parasitic spirochaete bacterium. There are different kinds of Treponema pallidum, which cause diseases like syphilis, bejel, pinta and yaws.

Treponema pallidum
Treponema pallidum.jpg
Scientific classification
T. pallidum
Binomial name
Treponema pallidum

The most common disease caused by Treponema pallidum is syphilis, a serious sexually transmitted infection.

Syphilis is treated and cured by taking antibiotics. Usually, the first treatment used is penicillin.[1] Antibiotic resistance has developed to a number of agents.[2] Ceftriaxone, a third-generation cephalosporin antibiotic, may be as effective as penicillin-based treatment.[3]

Pennicilin is still effective, but "the potential of this spirochete to develop additional antibiotic resistance could seriously compromise syphilis treatment and control".[2]


  1. David N. Gilbert; Robert C. Moellering; George M. Eliopoulos. The Sanford guide to antimicrobial therapy 2011 (41st ed.). Sperryville, VA: Antimicrobial Therapy. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-930808-65-2. Invalid |display-authors=3 (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Stamm L.V. 2010. Global challenge of antibiotic-resistant Treponema pallidum. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 54 (2): 583–9. [1]
  3. Kent M.E. & Romanelli F. 2008. Reexamining syphilis: an update on epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and management. Ann Pharmacother 42 (2): 226–36. [2]