image of Absence of Serological Evidence of Exposure to Treponema pallidum among Children Suggests Yaws Is No Longer Endemic in Kiribati
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Yaws is a neglected tropical disease targeted for eradication by 2020. Kiribati, a Pacific Island nation, was previously endemic for yaws but lacks recent data from which its current endemicity status could be determined. This study tested antibody responses to to determine if transmission of yaws is taking place among children in Kiribati. Using a commercially available particle agglutination kit (Serodia, MAST Diagnostics), we tested dried blood spots, collected during population-based trachoma prevalence surveys on Tarawa Atoll and Kiritimati Island, for long-lived treponemal antibodies. Dried blood spots from 1,420 children aged 1–9 years were tested. Only two were positive, suggesting is not being widely transmitted among children in the settings sampled. These data require support from additional surveys to demonstrate the absence of clinical signs of disease and molecular evidence of infection, to confirm that yaws is no longer endemic in Kiribati.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 03 Oct 2018
  • Accepted : 10 Dec 2018
  • Published online : 04 Feb 2019
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