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The New Zealand Medical Journal

 Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 29-April-2011, Vol 124 No 1333

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Yaws in Polynesia’s Wallis and Futuna Islands: a seroprevalence survey
Gilles Guerrier, Sandrine Marcon, Laure Garnotel, Roger Deltour, Stéphane Schinas, Jean Pierre Mathelin, Chantal Chouvin, Olivier Metge, Jean Marc Daronat


We carried out a serological and clinical survey to determine the prevalence and clinical presentation of yaws on two twin islands in Polynesia: Wallis and Futuna. A total of 264 serum samples were tested for specific Treponema pallidum haemagglutinations assay and non-specific rapid plasma reagin: 52 were positive for one or both tests; only one young adult had skin lesion consistent with yaws; and there were no observed cases of secondary or tertiary yaws.

Our results contrast with findings in neighbouring islands, such as Vanuatu, where yaws has been reported to resurge. This difference might be explained by better availability and accessibility of healthcare on Wallis and Futuna, thus allowing widespread use of antibiotics for other bacterial diseases.

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