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Bacterium - Treponema Pallidum

            Treponema Pallidum is a bacterium called a spirochete. This was meaning that it is in a corkscrew shape. This happens because of the axial filaments of the flagellum which grow lengthwise along the bacteria. This is possible because spirochetes have an outer membrane and an inner membrane. The axial filaments grow between the two membranes causing it to rotate in a corkscrew motion. The corkscrew shape allows it to "swim" or move through your bodily tissues, being very harmful to one's body. Treponema Pallidum grows anywhere between six and twenty nanometers. For Treoponema Pallidum to grow, the ideal temperature should be between 30 and 37 degrees Celsius. Treponema Pallidum also requires a neutral pH environment. Treponema Pallidum is considered to be a gram-negative bacterium. Because of how thin it is, it is difficult to classify its gram stain (1). .
             The disease was first recognized in 1494/1495 in Europe. There are two hypotheses as to why it showed up in Europe. The first hypothesis is that when Christopher Columbus and his crew went to America, the himself and the crew brought it back. The second hypothesis is that it was in Europe the entire time, but it just went unnoticed until then. According to one source I looked at, Treponema Pallidum got the name "Syphilis" from a poem written by Girolamo Fracastoro in 1530 about a shepherd called Syphilus who was then thought to be infected as a result of punishment (2).
             Treponema Pallidum is a worldwide problem. Over the past several decades it has become a very large public health problem. It is more prominent in underdeveloped countries as they do not have access to prenatal screening and antibiotics to treat the disease. The countries with the highest rates of Treponema Pallidum are Sub-Saharan Africa and South and South-east Asia. North Dakota is ranked at 45th out of the fifty states of the United States. .
             Treponema Pallidum is transmitted through sexual contact or by congenital pregnancies.

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