Heterotrophic Bacteria Gonorrhea and syphilis are among the most common bacterially caused sexually transmitted diseases. Both can be treated and cured with antibiotics, once diagnosed. Once considered likely to result in death, syphilis is usually curable with antibiotics, although overuse of antibiotics can reduce their effectiveness. Treponema pallidum is the bacterial species that causes syphilis. Syphilis is transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected one by direct contact with a syphilis sore during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Proper use of condoms has been shown to reduce the incidence of syphilis. Syphilis sores occur mainly on the genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum, as well as on the lips and inside the mouth. Infected, pregnant women can pass it to their unborn child. The urban myth about getting this disease from a toilet seat is untrue. Syphilis cannot be spread by toilet seats, door knobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bath tubs, or sharing of clothing or eating utensils. There are three stages to the disease. The prim,ary stage is the time between infection
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