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Vol. 16, No. 3-4, 1971
Issue release date: 1971
Folia Primatol 1971;16:294–305

Serological Reactions with Treponemal Antigens in Nonhuman Primates and the Natural History of Treponematosis in Man

Felsenfeld O. · Wolf R.H.
Tulane University Delta Primate Research Centre, Covington, La., and Department of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Tulane University, School of Publi Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, La

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Treponemal reagins were studied in the sera of 125 nonhuman primates belonging to 9 species. Seven sera were reactive, and 13 were weakly reactive. Spinal fluids available from the reactive group yielded negative results. The animals did not show clinical signs of treponemal disease. Most of the species with positive reactions have had little or no contact with man. All primates except one with positive serology came from wet tropical forest areas. If the positive results were actually due to treponemal infection, the causative agent may be related to that of yaws rather than to those of syphilis or pinta. The presence of enzootic treponematosis in apes and monkeys is suspected.

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