Definition of treponeme in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtrepəˌnēm/
(also treponema /ˌtrepəˈnēmə/)


A spirochete bacterium that is parasitic or pathogenic in humans and warm-blooded animals, including the causal agents of syphilis and yaws.
  • Genus Treponema, order Spirochaetales; Gram-negative.
Example sentences
  • However, its accuracy is limited by the experience of the operator performing the test, the number of live treponemes in the lesion, and the presence of nonpathologic treponemes in oral or anal lesions.
  • Over 10 years 195 samples of serum and cerebrospinal fluid gave positive results in the fluorescent treponema antibody assay, which means a primary infection of T pallidum, and 48 fulfilled the criteria for neurosyphilis.
  • In addition, the finding of treponemes within exudative lesions and positive serology aids the diagnosis.



Pronunciation: /-ˈnēməl/
Example sentences
  • Other viral, bacterial, treponemal and fungal agents have the potential to cause mouth ulcers.
  • Traditionally, screening for syphilis infection is a two-step process that involves an initial nontreponemal test (VDRL or RPR) followed by a confirmatory treponemal test (FTA-ABS or TP-PA).
  • Eleven weeks after her final dose, results of the fluorescence antibody absorption test were negative, with a negative rapid plasma reagin test result, suggesting passive acquisition of the treponemal antibody.


Early 20th century: from modern Latin Treponema, from Greek trepein 'to turn' + nēma 'thread'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: trep·o·ne·me

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