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Print version ISSN 0121-0793


VOLCY, Charles. Syphilis: Neologisms, social impact and development of research on its nature and etiology. Iatreia [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.1, pp.99-109. ISSN 0121-0793.

Perhaps originating from the Hispaniola Island, an epidemic of syphilis arose in 1495 in the Old Continent, and ravaged it for 20-25 consecutive years. Given the proliferation of vernacular and medical names assigned to Morbus Gallicus, this review addresses the discriminatory and racist role of these synonyms, and the implementation of public health legislation and quarantine to contain its spread. Also the controversy about its geographical origin and its possible presence in Europe before the discovery of America are discussed, as well as the disputes and mistakes concerning the nature, etiology and taxonomy of the newly discovered pathogen -Treponema pallidum-

Keywords : Epidemiology of Syphilis; Health Legislation; History of Medicine; History of Syphilis; Treponema Pallidum.

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