Caption: Treponema pallidum - Gram-negative, spirochete bacterium. Two spirochetes are located on two sperm heads. Treponema is an obligate human parasite and is the causative agent of syphilis. Research indicates that the organism is microaerophilic and requires low concentrations of oxygen. It is a spirochete, a helical to sinusoidal (spiral shaped, corkscrew shaped) bacterium with outer and cytoplasmic membranes, a thin peptidoglycan layer, and periplasmic flagella. There are four stages of syphilis infection. Treponema pallidum initially causes an ulcer (chancre) to develop at the site of infection. The spirochete is able to reproduce and invade the entire body. Over time, as the organism moves through the body, it causes damage to vital organs. It is transmitted from one infected person to another and is usually spread through sexual contact. Although effective therapies have been available since the introduction of penicillin, syphilis remains an important global health problem. Complications include blindness, mental illness, neurological disorders, and even death.
Magnification*: x4,000
Type: SEM
Copyright 2005 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
Keywords: 02.01.06,Bacteria,bacteria pathogen,bacterial pathogen,bacterium,chancre,corkscrew shaped,Gram-negative,Gram negative,helical shaped,human disease,human parasite,human pathogen,infection,microaerophilic,parasitic,person to person,prokaryote,SEM,sexual transmitted disease,sexually transmitted,sperm cell,sperm head,spiral shaped,spirilla,spirillum,spirochete,spirochetes,STD,syphilis,Treponema pallidum,ulcer,25979A