JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Yaws

Michael Marks, Oriol Mitjà, Anthony W Solomon, Kingsley B Asiedu, David C Mabey
British Medical Bulletin 2015, 113: 91-100
25525120

INTRODUCTION: Yaws, caused by Treponema pallidum ssp. pertenue, is endemic in parts of West Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The WHO has launched a campaign based on mass treatment with azithromycin, to eradicate yaws by 2020.

SOURCES OF DATA: We reviewed published data, surveillance data and data presented at yaws eradication meetings.

AREAS OF AGREEMENT: Azithromycin is now the preferred agent for treating yaws. Point-of-care tests have demonstrated their value in yaws.

AREAS OF CONTROVERSY: There is limited data from 76 countries, which previously reported yaws. Different doses of azithromycin are used in community mass treatment for yaws and trachoma.

GROWING POINTS: Yaws eradication appears an achievable goal. The programme will require considerable support from partners across health and development sectors.

AREAS TIMELY FOR DEVELOPING RESEARCH: Studies to complete baseline mapping, integrate diagnostic tests into surveillance and assess the impact of community mass treatment with azithromycin are ongoing.

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