Projects

Antimicrobial and immune modulatory effects of vaginal microbiota metabolites

Globally, almost 19% of the 1.8 million new HIV infections in 2017 were in adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa, where the virus mainly establishes infection by entry through the cervicovagina.

Women colonised with optimal cervicovaginal microbiota, typically dominated by Lactobacillus spp., are protected against HIV in contrast to women with “non-optimal” vaginal bacteria (e.g. bacterial vaginosis (BV)). Distinguishing features between women with BV vs Lactobacillus spp. dominated cervicovaginal microbiota include a dramatic increase in vaginal pH and a change in the concentrations of the vaginal microbiota metabolites, lactic acid, short chain fatty acid (SCFAs) and succinic acid.

This study aims to determine the antiviral and immune modulatory effects of these organic acid metabolites to understand their role in either helping to protect or to promote acquisition of HIV and other STIs.

Timeline

2016 – ongoing

Publications

2019

2018

2017

2015

2013

Collaborators

Dr Muriel Aldunate Dr Anna Hearps Professor Deborah Anderson Dr Joshua Hayward Associate Professor Catriona Bradshaw Dr Raffi Gugasyan

Funding

NHMRC

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Professor Gilda Tachedjian

Head of Life Sciences; Head of Tachedjian Laboratory (Retroviral Biology and Antivirals)

Telephone

+61392822256

Email

gilda.tachedjian@burnet.edu.au