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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Yaws


Yaws is also known as Bouba, Pian and Frambesia. Yaws is an infection of the skin, bones and joints caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum pertenue. The bacterium is a spirochete. Yaws is found in tropical regions in South America, Africa, and Asia. The humid climate in these areas is a major factor.

 Although the incidences of the disease has been in decreasing trend but still some sporadic outbreaks may occur. The disease has no sexual preponderance. Disease affects male sex and female sex equally. As the disease is present across the continents so it is almost impossible to find out the exact number of the sufferers in the world at any given point of time. The most common distinguishing feature of the disease is sore. Many sores may develop on the body of the patient. There are many other disease that are caused by the Treponema bacterium but the genus being the different as follows –

  • Treponema pallidum carateum causes Pinta
  • Treponema pallidum pallidum causes Syphilis
  • Treponema pallidum endemicum causes Bejel

Signs and Symptoms

  • Skin lesion at main infection site
  • Mother yaw will erupt first; it is a Raspberry-like itch skin eruption
  • Later multiple lesions may appear over face, arms, buttock and legs
  • Joint pain, deformity and limited movement may occur
  • Lesion may be crusted
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Itching
  • Malaise
  • Keratotic lesions on soles
  • Ulceration of soles
  • Paranasal swelling
  • Hypertrophic osteitis of the nose
  • Nasal discharge
  • Destruction of nose, pharynx and hard palate may result at some later stages

Source of Infection

Generally an infected patient is the source of the infection. The disease generally transmits person to person by the direct contact with the infected wound. The bacterium generally enters through the wound or the crack or any of the minor injury. Later a mother Yaw is formed first after that many of the yaws may follow.

Diagnosis and Investigations

  • Dark field microscopy of the samples taken from the ulcer will reveal the bacterium
  • VDRL
  • TPHA
  • Rapid Plasma Reagin Test

Treatment and Medications











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