Pinta (meaning "spotted") is also called mal de pinto and carate. It is the least destructive of the trepone-matoses that are pathogenic for humans. Although the taxonomy of these treponemes is by no means resolved, pinta is sufficiently distinctive to argue for a separate causal species, Treponema carateum. As a specific treponemal variety, it was not described until 1938. The disease is chronic, predominantly affects the skin, and is now found only among isolated rural groups in Central and South America and Mexico, where it is endemic. Local names for the illness are tiha, empeines, and vitiligo.

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