|Description:||Using ultraviolet (UV) illumination, and using the oil-immersion technique with a magnification of 675X, this photomicrograph reveals the presence of numerous Treponema pallidum spirochetes. Using the indirect fluorescent antibody (FA) staining method, the specimen had been treated for 3 minutes with Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody (FTA) Antigen, which made these bacteria glow under UV illumination.|
Syphilis, which is caused by the bacterium, Treponema pallidum, is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. Sores occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum. Sores also can occur on the lips and in the mouth. Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Pregnant women with the disease can pass it to the babies they are carrying. Syphilis cannot be spread through contact with toilet seats, doorknobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bathtubs, shared clothing, or eating utensils.