Molecular geneticists at Emory University have published a study in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases on the possible origins of the substrain of syphilis responsible for the first recorded epidemic in Europe, reports the New York Times. Comparing 21 genetic regions in 26 geographically distinct strains, they concluded that the strains causing venereal disease were most closely related to the non-venereal streains from South America.

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