Treponema Syphilis Case Study

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The genitals are a warm, damp region of the body which is conducive to the presence and transmission of many bacteria, virus, and yeast pathogens such as Syphilis. It is an infectious venereal disease; the microorganisms spread during intercourse as a result of exchanging reproductive fluids or bleeding, from mother to unborn child, when lesions come in contact with broken skin, and through blood transfusions. The disease is caused by Treponema pallidum which originates from the spiral-shaped Treponema (in Greek, “turning thread”) Bacteria genus that also includes other serious illness such as bejel, yaws, and pinta. Its complicated cellular structure makes it difficult correctly to diagnose, especially since the presence of another Treponema …show more content…
Julius Wasserman who developed the test alongside Dr. Albert Neisser at the Robert Koch Institute in Germany. During the test, a blood or spinal fluid sample is collected and exposed to the bovine muscle antigen cardiolipin, triggering a reaction between the lipid and non-specific Syphilis antibodies that was rated on a scale of one to four to indicate the progress of the infection. In some cases, the Wasserman test would result in a false-positive result and is therefore rarely used today despite refinements. The Venereal Disease Research Laboratory test, or VDRL, is the method that took the place of the original Wasserman test when it was invented in 1465 by three doctors named Harris, Rosenberg, and Riedel because it produces less false-positive results. The VDRL test screens the body for infection by exposing blood to diphosphatidyl glycerol antigen extracted from the heart of an ox to see if the mixture beings to foam, which has to be observed under a microscope. Another screening method exists called rapid plasma regain, or RPR, which is similar to VDRL but doesn’t require the use of a microscope because it binds an additional carbon molecule to the diphosphatidyl glycerol antigen. The VDRL and RPR methods are non-specific to Treponema bacteria and are used only as a blood screening, not a final diagnosis. Furthermore, there are numerous Treponema-specific that …show more content…
Then the lymph nodes may swell in lymphadenopathy until the lesions heal, which takes an average of three to six weeks.
Also, it is difficult to determine if syphilis carries a drug resistance on a global level because the causation cannot be cultured or genetically modified in a laboratory. (Middleton and Herbert, 2010)
Syphilis has been deemed a disease of the “social evil” of prostitution and has been found to have infected and claimed the lives some of the world’s most notable people. For instance, Al Capone, the famous Italian mobster from Chicago contracted syphilis from a prostitute and the symptoms of the disease quickly went latent. When Capone was imprisoned at Alcatraz in 1934, his symptoms slowly returned and after being paroled in 1939 his brain began to darken, and his health failed. Eventually, Capone developed pneumonia, had a stroke, and had a heart attack only six days after the stroke and died on January 19th of

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