A considerable amount of research in both living and past human populations has been conducted with respect to skeletal responses to treponematoses. Those affecting humans are usually classified as Pinta (Treponema carateum), Yaws (T. pallidum pertenue), or Syphilis (T. pallidum pallidum, both venereal and congenital, and T. pallidum endemicum for endemic). However, very little work has been undertaken among the great apes to identify the presence of these diseases and the processes that they might follow if present. We present a case study of a young, wild-shot, female chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) from Cameroon, housed at the Powell-Cotton Museum (Birchington, UK) that is likely affected by a treponematosis. Macroscopic examination revealed healed and healing lesions of the cranial vault, significant enamel defects in the permanent dentition, maxillary asymmetry, and mild periostitis in several postcranial elements. The cranial and dental anomalies observed are most consistent with yaws in humans, albeit with some key differences.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/scott_legge/24/