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New Tools for Syphilis Research

By August 10, 2018No Comments

Syphilis research has been severely limited by the necessity to propagate Treponema pallidumin vivo in rabbits. After decades of erroneous or irreproducible reports of cultivation of T. pallidum, the recent very convincing report of its successful long-term in vitro propagation opens numerous opportunities for development of genetictools for studying pathogenesis and protein function, antigenic variation, and surface exposure of antigens. The possibility of more rapid isolation of new strains will expand our knowledge of this organism beyond the century-old Nichols strain.