Sample Biology Paper on Syphilis, Treponema Pallidum

Syphilis, Treponema Pallidum

Characteristics of the Bacterium

Treponema Pallidum is a pathogen and a nonpathogenic bacterium that causes one of the most infections diseases around the world. The bacterium belongs to the spirochoeticea family, which gives it the capacity to infect man.T. Pallidum is the bacterium that causes syphilis, a condition that is rather common among the sexually active generation. The T. Pallidum genome is quite small thus requiring the bacterium to survive and function effectively within a host body. The bacterium is made up of seventy percent proteins, twenty percent lipids, and five percent carbohydrates. The level of lipids is rather high for a bacterium hence the lack of a vaccine. Additionally, the bacterium stains poorly with many dyes (Kayser 320). The cells of the pathogen are helically coiled with a length of 6-15 stretch. The bacterium contains an outer membrane that protects the flagella and the protoplasmic cylinder at the center of the cell. The bacterium multiplies through a binary transverse fusion method. The bacterium can survive outside the host for about 120 hours depending on the temperatures. Additionally, recent research has characterized the bacterium as microaerophilic, which proves that it is both aerobic and anaerobic.

Route of Infection

The bacterium only survives in the human body and it has no other known reservoirs. The bacterium affects the human body in a series of four steps, including the primary infection, the secondary infection, the latent, and the late syphilis. At the first three stages, the bacterium is highly controllable and most of the people who seek medical attention at those stages are cured. The bacterium is transmitted from one person to another through contact with an infected person. Ninety percent of the transmission occurs during sexual intercourse (Shmaefsky et al. 53). The other ten percent can occur through kissing, blood transfusion or during childbirth.


The T. Pallidum is a highly invasive bacterium. The bacterium causes syphilis, a disease that can be termed as both acute and chronic. At the first three stages of infection, the bacterium presents acute conditions that easily respond to simple antibiotics. However, the fourth stage that appears after about thirty years from infection presents a rather complicated condition that affects the normal functioning of the body. The late syphilis can be a chronic disease depending on the effects it has on the infected person. The symptoms of the disease at the first phase include a painless lesion at the point of the bacterium entry (Shmaefsky et al. 56). The late syphilis stage symptoms include the malfunctioning of most body parts and excessive tiredness. Research indicates that most people develop a level of immunity at the secondary stage, thus preventing the disease from progressing to the last stage. Consequently, recent research indicates that re-infection is a rather possible occurrence of the bacterium.

Detection, Treatment, and the Epidemiology

The bacterium is detected through a blood test or the dark field microscopy test. The conditions arising from the bacterial infection are easily treated with antibiotics or Ceftriaxone for people with penicillin allergies. The disease affects mostly the sexually active group, which include people within the ages of fifteen and forty-five. Around ten percent of the infections occur during birth and about one million children across the globe are born with the disease. The T. Pallidum bacterium has been around for years and so has syphilis. The spread of the disease has considerably reduced by the late twentieth century, but infections rates have multiplied in the twenty first century (Kayser 320). Scientific researchers are still finding a more permanent solution to the bacterium.


Works Cited

Kayser, F. H. Medical microbiology. Stuttgart New York, NY: Georg Thieme Verlag, 2011. Print.

Shmaefsky, Brian, I E. Alcamo, and David L. Heymann. Syphilis. New York: Chelsea House, 2009. Print.