Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the Treponema pallidum bacterium. The disease can progress over a long period of time and through various stages to become a dangerous, life-threatening illness, but often goes un-diagnosed owing to symptoms often mirroring other conditions. Although mortality from infection is largely on the decline, infection rates remain relatively high with approximately 6 million new infections per year. Rapid diagnosis is critical to prevent disease progression and severity.