1.) Syphilis is an venereal ( sexually – transmitted ) disease.

2.) Most commonly affected regions in the world from syphilis are in Sub – Saharan Africa, South America and South East Asia.

CAUSATIVE AGENT: Caused by Treponema pallidum.

1.) T. pallidum is a coiled spiral filament 10µm long that moves actively in fresh preparation.

2.) This organism has not been cultured or cultivated in any culture media but experimental infection can be produced in Rabbits and Chimpanzees.

3.) This organism cannot be stained by the usual method and can be demonstrated in exudates and tissue.



1.) Sexual intercourse is the most common route of infection and result in lesions on Glans penis, Vulva, Vagina and Cervix.

2.) Transfusion of infected blood.

3.) Intimate person to person contact.

4.) Materno – foetal transmission in congenital syphilis if mother is infected.


Syphilis is divided into three stages depending upon  the period after which the lesions appear and type of lesions :-

A.) PRIMARY SYPHILIS: The primary stage of syphilis, occurring approximately 3 weeks after contact with an infected person represented by single firm, nontenders ( said of body parts or lesions that do not trigger discomfort upon palpation) raised, red lesions located at the site of treponemal invasion on the penis, cervix, vaginal walls or anus .

B.) SECONDARY SYPHILIS: Inadequately treated patients of primary syphilis develop mucocutaneous lesions and painless lymphadenopathy ( disease affecting lymph node) in 2 – 3 months of exposure. Antibody test are always positive in this case because it is highly infective stage. Also latent syphilis is the reversion of secondary syphilis.

C.) TERTIARY SYPHILIS: This stage occurs years after the primary lesions, is characterized by active inflammatory lesions of the heart, aorta and central nervous system or by quiescent lesions involving the liver, bones and skin.

Pathogenesis and Clinical manifestations of Treponema pallidum

                                             FIGURE SHOWING DIFFERENT STAGES OF SYPHILIS

The above figure is used by our website is only for educational purpose

COGENITAL SYPHILIS: Cogenital syphilis may develop in a foetus of more than 16 week gestation who is exposed to maternal spirochete. Babies with congenital syphilis have saddle hose deformity and wide short teeth.

Ayounggirl sufferingfrom congenital syphilis to theface.Credit ...

                                                            CHILD HAVING CONGENITAL SYPHILIS


Ques:1) Syphilis is caused by which microorganism ?

a.) C. oerfringes

b.) C. botulinum

c.) Ventral pallidum

d.) Treponema pallidum

Ques:2) Which of the following is one way in which syphilis is transmitted ?

a.) By sharing a hot bath tub

b.) By eating food contaminated by disease

c.) By having unsafe sex with the infected person

d.) By sitting on toilet sits in public toilets

Ques:3) Syphilis is a complex systemic sexually transmitted infection caused by ?

a.) A virus

b.) A fungus

c.) By spirochete

d.) By bacteria

Ques:4) Syphilis is generally characterized by two clinical stages ?

a.) False

b.) True

c.) Neither true nor false

Ques:5) Chancre of the syphilis are found in the ?

a.) Genital, Vagina, Anus, Rectum, Lips and inside the mouth

b.) Genitals only

c.) Buttocks, Legs, Arms And Back

d.) Throat, Vagina and Chest area

Ques:6) Syphilis can be ?

a.) Tested

b.) Observed

c.) Felt

d.) Treated

Ques:7) Syphilis is often called ?

a.) The great terminator

b.) The invisible dictator

c.) The great imitator

d.) The terrorizing emperor

Ques:8) Experimental organism used for the study of syphilis are?

a.) Rabbits

b.) Chimpanzees

c.) Both (a) and (b)

d.) None of the above

Ques:9) Which of the following stage is found to be most infective stage  ?

a.) Primary syphilis stage

b.) Tertiary syphilis stage

c.) Secondary syphilis stage

d.) All of the above

Ques:10) In which state antibody test is found to be positive in 1 – 3 week after the appearance of chancre ?

a.) Primary syphilis stage

b.) Secondary syphilis stage

c.) Tertiary syphilis stage

d.) All of the above


SOL.1) [d] Treponema pallidum

SOL.2) [c] By having unsafe sex with infected person

SOL.3) [c] Spirochete

SOL.4) [a]

SOL.5) [a] Genital, Vaginal, Anus, Rectum, Lips and inside the mouth

SOL.6) [d] Treated

SOL.7) [c] The great imitator (syphilis is called a great imitator because it may cause symptoms similar to many other diseases)

SOL.8) [c] Rabbits and Chimpanzees

SOL.9) [c] Secondary syphilis

SOL.10) [a] Primary syphilis

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1.) Robbin’s basic pathology.

2.) Textbook of pathology by Harsh Mohan.


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