The Genus Treponema

  • Steven J. Norris
  • Bruce J. Paster
  • Annette Moter
  • Ulf B. Göbel

Introduction and Habitats

The genus Treponema (phylum Spirochaetes, order Spirochetales, family Spirochaetaceae) is composed of both pathogenic and nonpathogenic species indigenous to humans and animals. They are helical, tightly coiled, motile bacteria, ranging from 5–20 µm in length and 0.1–0.4 µm in diameter, and are best observed by dark-field microscopy (Fig. 1). The organisms stain poorly with the usual aniline dyes; however, those that are capable of aniline-dye uptake are Gram-negative. Staining can best be accomplished by the use of silver impregnation or immunofluorescent methods. The sequence of the genome of Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum, the type species of the genus, was determined in 1998 (Fraser et al., 1998), and the [{} sequence of the Treponema denticola] genome is nearly completed. Information based on these genome sequences has been incorporated into sections of this chapter.


Periodontal Disease Rumen Fluid Subgingival Plaque Congenital Syphilis Cytoplasmic Filament 
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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven J. Norris
  • Bruce J. Paster
  • Annette Moter
  • Ulf B. Göbel

There are no affiliations available

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