Syphilis. Light micrograph of a section through the skin of a patient with syphilis. This sexually transmitted disease is caused by the Treponema pallidum bacterium. Bacteria can be seen here (stained brown) in the basal and suprabasal layers of the epidermis. The first symptom in syphilis is a skin chancre at the site of infection on the genitals. The chancre is a raised, reddened nodule. This chancre may go unnoticed or may ulcerate. It eventually heals, but secondary and tertiary syphilis may follow. Congenital syphilis is transmitted during pregnancy or during birth. Syphilis is treated with penicillin antibiotic drugs.
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