Disease pathophysiology: Syphilis is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis.The overall rate increased by 568.2% since 1999 (0.6 per 100,000). Historically, a greater number of cases have been reported in men than in women. In 2008, men accounted for 86.1% of reported cases. Between 1999 and 2008, reported rates of infectious syphilis increased in both sexes, but primarily in males.
During this period, the rate in men increased by 870.7% (from 0.7 to 7.3 per 100,000) and in women increased by 123.4% (from 0.5 to 1.1 per 100,000). The male-to-female rate ratio increased from 1.5:1.0 in 1999 to 6.4:1.0 in 2008, reflecting that more males than females were reported with infectious syphilis, and this disparity increased over time. The male-to-female ratio is much higher in some jurisdictions: Québec, Ontario and British Columbia outbreaks are predominantly among men. 2008, people aged 30 and older accounted for 73.6% of reported cases.
In men, the highest reported rate of infectious syphilis was shared between 25 to 29 year olds and 30 to 39 year olds (13.3 per 100,000). Together, these age groups accounted for almost 40% of reported cases in men in 2008. In women, the highest reported rate was in 20 to 24 year olds (3.6 per 100,000) In males, the greatest absolute increase in reported rates of infectious syphilis was in 25 to 29 year olds. The rate increased from 1.0 per 100,000 in 1999 to 13.3 per 100,000 in 2008 Major Research: major research on syphilis in Canada in carried out by CAETE (Canada Source of HIV and Hepatitis).