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Treponema pallidum 01.png
Treponema pallidum spirochaetes.
Scientific classification
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Spirochaetes
Class: Spirochaetes Cavalier-Smith 2002
Order: Spirochaetales Buchanan 1917
Family: Spirochaetaceae Swellengrebel 1907
Genus: Treponema Schaudinn 1905

Treponema is a genus of spiral-shaped bacteria. The major treponeme species of human pathogens is Treponema pallidum, whose subspecies are responsible for diseases such as syphilis, bejel, and yaws. Treponema carateum is the cause of pinta.[1] Treponema paraluiscuniculi is associated with syphilis in rabbits.[2]


The currently accepted taxonomy is based on the List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (LPSN) [3] and National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)[4] and the phylogeny is based on 16S rRNA-based LTP release 111 by 'The All-Species Living Tree' Project [5]

?T. calligyrumNoguchi

?T. carateum ♥ (pinta causing Treponema)

?T. minutumDobell 1912

?T. pallidum

T. p. endemicumSmibert 1984 (bejel causing Treponema)

T. p. pallidum(Schaudinn and Hoffmann 1905) Schaudinn 1905 (syphilis causing Treponema)

?T. paraluisleporisLumeij et al. 1994

?T. paraluiscuniculi(Jacobsthal 1920) Smibert 1974

?T. pertenue(Castellani 1905) Castellani and Chalmers 1910 (yaws causing Treponema)

?T. phagedenis

T. p. phagedenis(Noguchi 1912) Brumpt

T. p. vaccaeEvans et al. 2006

?T. refringens(Schaudinn and Hofmann 1905) Castellani and Chalmers

?T. vincentiiSmibert 1984

?T. zioleckiiPiknova et al. 2008

Spirochaeta caldaria Pohlschroeder et al. 1995

Spirochaeta stenostrepta Zuelzer 1912

T. isoptericolens Dröge et al. 2008

T. azotonutricium Graber et al. 2004

T. primitia Graber et al. 2004

Treponema zuelzerae (ex Veldkamp 1960) Canale-Parola 1980

T. medium

T. m. bovisEvans et al. 2006

T. m. mediumUmemoto et al. 1997

T. pedis Evans et al. 2009

T. denticola (ex Flügge 1886) Chan et al. 1993

T. putidum Wyss et al. 2004

T. lecithinolyticum Wyss et al. 1999

T. maltophilum Wyss et al. 1996

T. brennaborense Schrank et al. 1999

T. saccharophilum Paster and Canale-Parola 1986

T. berlinense Nordhoff et al. 2005

T. pectinovorum Smibert and Burmeister 1983

T. bryantii Stanton and Canale-Parola 1980

T. porcinum Nordhoff et al. 2005

T. succinifaciens Cwyk and Canale-Parola 1981

T. parvum Wyss et al. 2001

T. amylovorum Wyss et al. 1997

T. socranskii

T. s. paredis Smibert et al. 1984

T. s. buccale Smibert et al. 1984

T. s. socranskii Smibert et al. 1984

♦ Type strain lost or not available
♠ Strains found at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) but not listed in the List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (LSPN)
♥ Strains not lodged at National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) or listed in the List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (LPSN)

The species Treponema hyodysenteriae and Treponema innocens have been reclassified into Serpulina hyodysenteriae and Serpulina innocens.[6]