The bacterium treponema palladium causes congenital syphilis. A mother with syphilis passes this bacterium to her infant 50% of the time. An untreated syphilis infection could result in death of an infant or serious deformities, cognitive problems, and other disabilities. It's important for all pregnant women, or a female who is planning on getting pregnant to get tested for syphilis. Treatment for syphilis is highly effectively and could safe an infants life. Once physical or mental damage is done to an infant treatment will not reverse it. It's important to ensure a couple is tested for all STDs if they are planning on have a baby.