Electron microscopic observation of Treponema pallidum in syphilitic chancres and syphilids

M. G. Lee, I. Chung, E. S. Lee, J. B. Lee

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Electron microscopic studies were performed on three primary and two early secondary syphilitic lesions from three patients. All of these patients had both secondary syphilitic lesions and chancres. There was no difference in the morphology and location of treponemes in these patients as compared to those who had only a chancre or only a syphilid reported earlier. This study revealed that Treponema pallida were principally located in the intercellular space of keratinocytes and extracellular space of the dermis. Furthermore, these organisms were observed within histiocytes, endothelial cells, fibroblasts, lymphocytes and even plasma cells. The plasma cells had well developed endoplasmic reticulum, and in some, dilatation of the endoplasmic reticulum was noted. Many treponemes were demonstrated in and around blood vessels. The vascular endothelial cells were proliferating and the basement membranes were thick.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Dermatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


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