Origin of modern syphilis and emergence of a pandemic Treponema pallidum cluster

Published in Nature microbiology, 2016

Recommended citation: Arora, Natasha et al. (2016). "Origin of modern syphilis and emergence of a pandemimc Treponema pallidum cluster" Nature microbiology. 2, 16245. http://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol2016245/


The abrupt onslaught of the syphilis pandemic that started in the late fifteenth century established this devastating infectious disease as one of the most feared in human history1. Surprisingly, despite the availability of effective antibiotic treatment since the mid-twentieth century, this bacterial infection, which is caused by Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum (TPA), has been re-emerging globally in the last few decades with an estimated 10.6 million cases in 2008 (ref. 2).