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      Syphilis: using modern approaches to understand an old disease.

      The Journal of clinical investigation
      Animals, Anti-Bacterial Agents, therapeutic use, Antibodies, Bacterial, biosynthesis, blood, Bacterial Typing Techniques, Bacterial Vaccines, Comorbidity, Drug Resistance, Microbial, Female, Global Health, HIV Infections, epidemiology, transmission, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Humans, Male, Morbidity, trends, Penicillins, Rabbits, Syphilis, diagnosis, drug therapy, prevention & control, Syphilis Serodiagnosis, Treponema pallidum, classification, genetics, immunology, physiology

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          Abstract

          Syphilis is a fascinating and perplexing infection, with protean clinical manifestations and both diagnostic and management ambiguities. Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum, the agent of syphilis, is challenging to study in part because it cannot be cultured or genetically manipulated. Here, we review recent progress in the application of modern molecular techniques to understanding the biological basis of this multistage disease and to the development of new tools for diagnosis, for predicting efficacy of treatment with alternative antibiotics, and for studying the transmission of infection through population networks.

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