Food Science and Technology Department


Date of this Version



Microsc Microanal 11(Suppl 2), 2005, pp 340-341

DOI: 10.1017/S1431927605509449


Copyright 2005 Microscopy Society of America


As a spirochete, the genus Treponema is one of the few major bacterial groups whose natural phylogenic relationships are evident at the level of gross phenotypic characteristics such as their morphology. Treponema spp. are highly invasive due to their unique motility in dense media, and their ability to penetrate cell layers [1]. This feature is associated with the helical cell body and the presence of flagellar filaments in the periplasm [2]. Treponema denticola is an oral pathogen involved in endodontic infections and periodontal diseases. The presence and quantity of T. denticola in the subgingival biofilm is correlated with the severity of periodontal disease and tissue destruction [3,4]. The organism has also been detected in 75% of severe endodontic abscesses [5]. A better understanding of Treponema ultrastructure and motility will aid development of new strategies to control infection. Because of the similarity in ultrastructural organization among spirochetes, knowledge gained from T. denticola can be applied to other spirochetes causing diseases in human and animals (syphilis, digital dermatitis, Lyme disease, relapsing fever, leptospirosis, etc.).

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