There is no natural immunity to infection by pathogenic treponemes. However, "only about 50 percent of the named contacts of primary and secondary syphilis become infected," and 25 percent after a single exposure. The chance of infection is influenced - in undefined proportions - by sexual and hygienic practices, inoculum size, environmental and body temperature, and other factors.

Acquired immunity is related to inoculum size and duration of infection prior to treatment. Intradermal inoculation of T. pallidum usually causes primary lesions and serologic response in those who have previously been treated for early syphilis. By contrast, it produces no symptoms or responses in those with untreated latent syphilis, or in those previously treated for late latent (more than 1 year's duration) syphilis (Holmes and Lukehart 1987).

Your Heart and Nutrition

Your Heart and Nutrition

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