Treponema pallidum

Treponema pallidum

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET - INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCES

SECTION I - INFECTIOUS AGENT

NAME: Treponema pallidum

SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: Syphilis, Lues

CHARACTERISTICS: Spirochete, helically coiled, corkscrew-shaped cell, 6-15 µm long 0.1-0.2 µm wide; outer membrane, axial membrane (membrane-covered flagella), cytoplasmic tubules, an inner cytoplasmic membrane

SECTION II - HEALTH HAZARD

PATHOGENICITY: Diverse clinical manifestations; initial genital tract lesion followed by disseminated lesions and cardiovascular and neurologic problems; CNS disease manifested as acute syphilitic meningitis; infection during pregnancy results in fetal death and numerous birth defects; infections are usually chronic; death or serious disability is rare

EPIDEMIOLOGY: Worldwide; primarily involving young people between 20-35 years

HOST RANGE: Humans

INFECTIOUS DOSE: Not known

MODE OF TRANSMISSION: By direct contact with skin lesions, mucous membranes, body fluids and secretions (semen, vaginal discharge, saliva, blood) of infected persons during sexual contact; rarely by kissing, blood transfusion; congenital transmission is possible

INCUBATION PERIOD: From 10 days to 3 months; usually 3 weeks

COMMUNICABILITY: During the primary and secondary stages of the disease and during the recurrent lesions; inapparent lesions may be potentially infectious

SECTION III - DISSEMINATION

RESERVOIR: Humans

ZOONOSIS: None

VECTORS: None

SECTION IV - VIABILITY

DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Sensitive to penicillin G, doxycycline, tetracycline

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Susceptible to 70% ethanol, 1% sodium hypochlorite, 2% glutaraldehyde

PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Sensitive to heating at 65° C for 30 minutes

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Survives up 24 hours in blood at room temperature

SECTION V - MEDICAL

SURVEILLANCE: Monitor for symptoms; confirm by serological analysis and microscopic demonstration

FIRST AID/TREATMENT: Administer appropriate drug therapy

IMMUNIZATION: None available

PROPHYLAXIS: None available

SECTION VI - LABORATORY HAZARDS

LABORATORY-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS: Fifteen cases were reported up to 1980

SOURCES/SPECIMENS: Semen, vaginal secretions, lesion material

PRIMARY HAZARDS: Accidental parenteral inoculation, droplet exposure on mucous membrane

SPECIAL HAZARDS: None

SECTION VII - RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS

CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Biosafety level 2 practices and containment equipment for all activities involving the bacteria and potentially infectious tissues or fluids

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Laboratory coat; gloves when skin contact with infectious materials is unavoidable

OTHER PRECAUTIONS: Pregnant women should avoid contact with infectious material

SECTION VIII - HANDLING INFORMATION

SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle; wearing protective clothing, gently cover the spill with absorbent paper and apply 1% sodium hypochlorite, starting at the perimeter and working towards the center; allow sufficient contact time (30 min) before clean up

DISPOSAL: Decontaminate all wastes before disposal; steam sterilization, chemical disinfection, incineration

STORAGE: In sealed containers that are appropriately labelled

SECTION IX - MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Date prepared: May, 2001

Prepared by: Office of Laboratory Security, PHAC

Although the information, opinions and recommendations contained in this Material Safety Data Sheet are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information. Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date.

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