Syphilis

  • S. J. Norris
Part of the Immunology and Medicine book series (IMME, volume 9)

Abstract

Syphilis has long been recognized as one of the most complex infectious diseases, and the immunology of the disease is both a cause and a reflection of this complexity. The human diseases caused byTreponema pallidum subspeciespallidum and related bacteria (which cause venereal syphilis, endemic syphilis, yaws and pinta) exhibit a similar pattern of pathogenesis involving acute and chronic manifestations, as well as the capacity for long- term acute latent infection. Syphilis represents an ideal host-parasite relationship (from the parasite’s point of view): the spirochetes can cause both acute infectious lesions, important in transmission of the disease in the early stages, and also persist in the host for decades despite the presence of demonstrable resistance to infection. The immune response battles valiantly to rid the host of this invader, but usually does not succeed; in many cases its fervour seems to be principally responsible for the pathogenesis of the disease.

Keywords

Late Manifestation Congenital Syphilis Venereal Disease Research Laboratory Secondary Syphilis Major Polypeptide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

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  • S. J. Norris

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