Pipets in Pathobiology lab
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Pipets in a Pathobiology faculty member's lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Photo credit: Katherine Turner.
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By Richard Watts

A University of Victoria microbiologist and her American colleague are looking for a vaccine to prevent syphilis, a venereal disease on the rise worldwide.

UVic’s Caroline Cameron, a professor of biochemistry and microbiology, is joining with University of Washington’s Sheila Lukehart, a professor of medicine and global health, to develop a vaccine to stop syphilis before it gets started in a body.

“It’s a preventive treatment, not a cure,” Cameron said.

She said the disease is treated effectively, when caught early, with penicillin. Condoms are promoted as the most effective prevention. But treatment and condoms are not wiping out the disease, so a vaccine would be helpful.

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