Syphilis is an infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum which can cause disease at all stages of life.

Syphilis during pregnancy can result in miscarriage and fetal loss, or can result in congenital syphilis, an infection that causes organ damage and life-long complications. Infection through sexual activity can cause symptoms such as genital ulcers and rashes that can be missed or misdiagnosed, and untreated syphilis can cause organ damage including neurological problems that cannot be corrected by antibiotic treatment. In collaboration with researchers at the University of Connecticut; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; CIDEIM in Cali, Colombia; Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic; and Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, Dr. Tony Moody was recently awarded a grant to develop a syphilis vaccine to reduce the transmission of this neglected infection.