Frambesia is an infectious disease that affects the skin, cartilage and bones. It is caused by the bacterium Treponema pertenue. This is a subspecies of spirochetes belonging to the same species as Treponema pallidum – a pale spirochete, the causative agent of a sexually transmitted disease – syphilis. But unlike the latter, frambesia is not sexually transmitted, therefore it is sometimes called a type of non-venereal syphilis and is assigned to the group of treponematoses.
This disease is characteristic of tropical countries with a humid, hot climate, so its other name is tropical syphilis. Frambesia is also known as pian, tropical granuloma, tropical polypapilloma.
The disease is common in equatorial Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and the Caribbean. Continue reading