The Relation between Syphilis and Yaws as Observed in American Samoa

J. C. ParhamMedical Corps, United States Navy, Naval Hospital, Washington, D. C.

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All medical men are familiar with the various clinical pictures in the human being that result from infection by the Treponema pallidum; far fewer are acquainted with the clinical picture that results from infection by the T. pertenue and of this latter number the majority hold that there is no relation between the two treponemata just mentioned, other than a morphological one; in other words, that syphilis and yaws are separate disease entities. A careful survey of the literature of the past and present reveals few champions of the unity of the diseases under discussion.

Observations made by the author during a tour of duty of two and one-half years in American Samoa have tended to discount the belief expressed by most workers in tropical medicine and seem to point to the original unity of yaws and syphilis.