Query: NC_016844:748117 Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum DAL-1 chromosome, complete Lineage: Treponema pallidum; Treponema; Spirochaetaceae; Spirochaetales; Spirochaetes; Bacteria General Information: This organism is the causative agent of endemic and venereal syphilis. This sexual transmitted disease was first discovered in Europe at the end of the fifteenth century, however, the causative agent was not identified until 1905. At one time syphilis was the third most commonly reported communicable disease in the USA. Syphilis is characterized by multiple clinical stages and long periods of latent, asymptomatic infection. Although effective therapies have been available since the introduction of penicillin, syphilis remains a global health problem.
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General Information: This isolate was collected from a gerbil in central Asia. This organism was first identified by Edward Francis as the causative agent of a plague-like illness that affected squirrels in Tulare county in California in the early part of the 20th century. The organism now bears his name. The disease, which has been noted throughout recorded history, can be transmitted to humans by infected ticks or deerflies, infected meat, or by aerosol, and thus is a potential bioterrorism agent. This organism has a high infectivity rate, and can invade phagocytic and nonphagocytic cells, multiplying rapidly. Once within a macrophage, the organism can escape the phagosome and live in the cytosol. It is an aquatic organism, and can be found living inside protozoans, similar to what is observed with Legionella.