Skip to Content
Medical Term:


Pronunciation: trep'o-ne'ma


A genus of anaerobic bacteria (order Spirochaetales) consisting of cells, 3–8 mcm in length, with acute, regular, or irregular spirals and no obvious protoplasmic structure. A terminal filament may be present. They stain with difficulty except with Giemsa stain or silver impregnation. Some species are pathogenic and parasitic for humans and other animals, generally producing local lesions in tissues. The type species is Treponema pallidum.

[G. trepo, to turn, + nema, thread]

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.