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Published On: Thu, May 9th, 2013

Oral Zithromax and The Dual Path Platform (DPP) test for syphilis could mean the end of Yaws

Treating patients with the disfiguring disease, yaws with oral azithromycin (commercial name-Zithromax) and diagnosis of the disease with The Dual Path Platform (DPP) test for syphilis could mean the eradication of the bacterial disease.

This is what experts at a WHO meeting on yaws eradication heard last month (20–22 March) in Geneva, Switzerland, according to a Thomson Reuters Foundation report today.

Yaws Credits:   CDC/Dr. Peter Perine

Yaws
Credits: CDC/Dr. Peter Perine

According to the report, The Dual Path Platform (DPP) test for syphilis, recently developed by US firm Chembio Diagnostics, could also help to detect yaws cases that are difficult to diagnose based only on clinical symptoms. It could also assist in the surveillance that will be needed for years after endemic communities are treated with antibiotics.

Experts hope that the DPP test can assist in mapping of the disease, which will be required to be completed before serious eradication efforts start, but it will require field testing before it can be used for diagnosing yaws in the field.

A field trial due to start in Vanuatu next month (May) will aim to verify whether the tool can effectively detect yaws in children, those mainly affected by the disease.

The use of a one dose, oral azithromycin was shown to be as effective as the painful, injectable penicillin in a Ghana trial, mirroring the results published about one year ago in a Papua New Guinea study.

This disfiguring tropical disease is caused by the spirochete, Treponema pertenue. This species is morphologically indistinguishable from the agent of venereal syphilis, Treponema pallidum.

Yaws is predominately a disease of children ages 2-15 years living in rural, humid and tropical areas of Africa, South and Central America, the Caribbean, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Living in poor, overcrowded and unsanitary conditions are common characteristics of areas with yaws. The lack of soap and water, clean clothes and footwear and cuts and abrasions enhance the chance of infection.

The infection is transmitted from person to person by direct skin to skin contact with an infected lesion. The spirochetes themselves cannot penetrate intact skin.

The disease is characterized by highly contagious primary and secondary lesions and non-contagious late stage destructive lesions.

The initial lesion or the “mother yaw” appears as a papilloma on the face or extremities. It is painless and may last for months then heal without scarring.

From weeks to years after the appearance of the primary lesion, secondary lesions appear. They usually appear in multiples and form a yellow –brown scab. These can last up to 6 months and will scar if ulcerated.

Untreated yaws can cause destructive lesions of the skin and bone in up to 20 percent of people infected. It is rarely fatal but can be very disabling and disfiguring.

Yaws needs to be differentiated from other skin conditions include scabies, fungal infections, leprosy, leishmaniasis and psoriasis.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Pfizer Updates: Zithromax Associated With Heart Deaths; Xalcori Successful | rexsaver.com says:

    […] Oral Zithromax and also The Dual Course System (DPP) driving test for syphilis could imply … Dealing with patients thanks to the disfiguring condition, yaws thanks to oral azithromycin (industrial name-Zithromax) and medical diagnosis of the illness thanks to The Double Course System (DPP) test for syphilis might imply the elimination of the microbial condition. This is what … Read more on The International Dispatch […]

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