Volume 92, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



We developed a TaqMan-based real-time quadriplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to simultaneously detect subspecies , subsp. , and subsp. , the causative agents of venereal syphilis, yaws, and bejel, respectively. The PCR assay was applied to samples from skin ulcerations of clinically presumptive yaws cases among children on Tanna Island, Vanuatu. Another real-time triplex PCR was used to screen for the point mutations in the 23S rRNA genes that have previously been associated with azithromycin resistance in subsp. strains. Seropositivity by the classical syphilis serological tests was 35.5% among children with skin ulcerations clinically suspected with yaws, whereas the presence of . subsp. DNA was only found in lesions from 15.5% of children. No evidence of subsp. infection, by either PCR or serology was found in ∼59% of cases indicating alternative causes of yaws-like lesions in this endemic area.


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  • Received : 23 Jul 2014
  • Accepted : 01 Oct 2014
  • Published online : 07 Jan 2015

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