Wild African monkeys are infected with the bacterium causing yaws in humans | Newsroom


By Katherine Gombay

An international research team, led by scientists from McGill University, the German Primate Center, the Robert Koch Institute, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Masaryk University, the University of Tübingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, has successfully recovered genomes of the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis and yaws in humans, from wild nonhuman primate populations across sub-Saharan Africa. Monkeys showed severe symptoms including lesions on their genitals, face, and extremities. The pathogen’s genomes revealed that nonhuman primates across a large geographic range are infected with the same bacterium causing yaws in humans. Co-lead author Sascha Knauf of the German Primate Center suggests…

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