T pallidum is a labile organism that will not endure drying or exposure to disinfectants (CDC). It is primarily a human pathogen, and does not seem to occur naturally in other species. Soon after the early infection sets in, the pathogen enters the lymphatic system and the blood stream. It then spreads throughout the entire body. Nearly all of the organs can be invaded by the pathogen, including the central nervous system.
The primary symptoms associated with Syphilis are characterized by a painless chancre sore at the area of entry near the genital region (Wikipedia). This lesion does not always develop, and sometimes multiple sores appear. Lymphadenopathy often accompanies the chancre sores (Department of Health). Most of these initial sores heal within 3-6 weeks of the original infection. The emergence of secondary Syphilis, which usually begins as the first outbreak is healing, is associated with a scattered rash, condyloma lata, lymphadenopathy, and several other symptoms such as high fever (CDC). Because the active bacteria is present in the lesions any physical contact-sexual or otherwise-may spread the infection to another person during this stage. ...Show more