Occurrence of congenital, cardiovascular, visceral, neurologic, and neuro-ophthalmologic complications in late yaws: A theme for future research

Gustavo C. Roman, Lydia N. Roman, Gustavo C. Roman, Lydia N. Roman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Late lesions of yaws are thought to be limited to skin, bones and joints, without congenital, visceral, or central nervous system (CNS) involvement. However, the treponemes isolated from patients with yaws, endemic syphilis, and venereal syphilis are genetically identical subspecies of Treponema pallidum. The controversy surrounding distinctions between syphilis and yaws is presented in its historical context, and reports of congenital, visceral, and CNS complications of yaws are reviewed. Isolation of treponemes from aqueous humor, as well as CSF abnormalities in 24.9% of 902 patients with yaws, indicate the existence of CNS involvement. The high prevalence of tropical myeloneuropathies of unknown origin discovered in areas of previous treponemal endemicity, particularly in Jamaica and Colombia, may represent late complications of yaws. Careful analysis of the collected evidence indicates that potential sequelae of yaws include congenital, visceral, and tertiary CNS lesions identical to those of venereal syphilis. The current worldwide resurgence of endemic treponematoses provides an unparalleled opportunity to settle conclusively questions still unanswered regarding the natural history of these infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)760-770
Number of pages11
JournalReviews of Infectious Diseases
Volume8
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Occurrence of congenital, cardiovascular, visceral, neurologic, and neuro-ophthalmologic complications in late yaws: A theme for future research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this