Tropical Medicine Mission Index of Diseases About Tropical Medicine Tropical Medicine Home Page Tropical Medicine Staff

Next Page

Geographic Distribution

Endemic syphilis is a disease of warm, dry climates which occurs in Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, central Asia, and Africa south of the Sahara. In Senegal 92% of the population are seropositive, and more than 4% have clinically active disease. There is a very similar nonvenereal treponematosis in India.

Yaws is a disease of warm, humid climates. Because of the WHO campaigns, the extent of the disease is decreasing. Until less than 30 years ago, it was endemic throughout much of the tropics, particularly the Caribbean, South America, tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, North Australia, and the Pacific islands. In some of these areas, new infections are again occurring, estimated to number over 2.5 million active cases and with millions more at risk; the regions now most affected are West and Central Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo, and Sudan, as well as Indonesia, Papua, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and India.

The ebb and flow of these treponemal infections, and the difficulty in controlling them even though they are antibiotic sensitive, is largely due to the vast movement of people, even of populations, as refugees and immigrants. In some areas, e.g., Southeast Asia, tourism is a significant factor also.

Pinta was first described in Mexico, where it is endemic. It also occurs in the northern part of South America and in several islands of the Caribbean, particularly Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Guadaloupe.

Pinta affects the skin; a few rare cases of aortitis have been reported, but the disease is of virtually no importance to the radiologist. Authors differ as to whether skeletal involvement ever occurs.

Back to the Table of Contents

Copyright: Palmer and Reeder