Macrolide treatment failure in a case of secondary syphilis: a novel A2059G mutation in the 23S rRNA gene of Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum

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We report an occurrence of treatment failure after oral spiramycin therapy in a man with secondary syphilis and a reported penicillin and tetracycline allergy. Molecular detection revealed treponemal DNA in the blood of the patient and sequencing of the 23S rDNA identified an A to G transition at the gene position corresponding to position 2059 in the Escherichia coli 23S rRNA gene. The occurrence of this novel 23S rDNA mutation was examined among 7 rabbit-propagated syphilitic strains of Treponema pallidum and among 22 syphilis patient isolates from the Czech Republic. The prevalence of A2058G and A2059G mutations among clinical specimens was 18.2 and 18.2 %, respectively.

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