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Vertical transmission of Treponema pallidum to various litters and generations of guinea pigs



Vertical transmission of Treponema pallidum to various litters and generations of guinea pigs



Journal of Infectious Diseases 179(5): 1206-1212



The transmission of congenital syphilis was studied in a 4-generation guinea pig family with 10 litters and 38 offspring. By use of one or all of the following tests (ELISA-IgM, polymerase chain reaction, and rabbit infectivity), transplacental infection was demonstrated through 5 litters and up to 4 generations. Twenty-eight (93%) of 30 animals were positive by gtoreq1 test, and 2 (7%) were negative by 1 or 3 tests. While transmission of the pathogen appeared to be unaffected by the maternal acquisition of immunity, signs of smoldering infection in the young was suggested by the decline in humoral responses in successive progeny and by unusual rabbit infectivity test results. With each pregnancy there was a remarkable booster in the maternal humoral response, which dropped significantly prior to term. These findings shed new light on the understanding and interpretation of serologic testing during pregnancy and the perinatal period.

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Accession: 011639692

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10191224

DOI: 10.1086/314718


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