Projects

The role of female genital tract microbial function in inflammation and HIV infection risk.

The primary aims of this project are to use metaproteomics data to describe the microbial activities and properties that drive genital inflammation, reduce epithelial barrier integrity and increase HIV infection risk. Hypotheses generated are then validated by in vitro characterisation of bacterial isolates from the same women. Another aim of this work is to identify biomarkers of sexually transmitted infections and bacterial vaginosis for point-of-care diagnostic development.

This project spans multiple cohort studies, including the Women’s Initiative in Sexual Health (WISH), the Mucosal Injury from Sexual Contact (MISC), and the Depo Provera and Beyond studies. As part of these studies, mucosal specimens for characterisation of the metaproteome and for bacterial isolation are being (or have been) collected.

Timeline

2016–2023

Collaborators

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA RIVERSIDE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Dr Arghavan Alisoltani Prof Adam Godzik

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN: Associate Prof Jo-Ann Passmore (WISH Principal Investigator; MISC co-Principal Investigator) Prof Jonathan Blackburn Prof Nicola Mulder Dr Matthys Potgieter Mrs Celia Mehou-Loko Mr Rushil Harryparsard Mrs Nina Radzey Miss Andrea Gillian Abrahams Dr Monalisa Tatenda Manhanzva

SEATTLE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL: Assistant Prof Heather Jaspan (MISC Principal Investigator)

CENTRE FOR PROTEOMICS AND GENOMIC RESEARCH: Dr Liam Bell Mrs Elizabeth Ross Dr Zac McDonald Miss Michelle du Plessis

DESMOND TUTU HIV CENTRE: Prof Linda-Gail Bekker

CENTRE FOR THE AIDS PROGRAMME OF RESEARCH IN SOUTH AFRICA: Dr Hilton Humphries

UNIVERSITY OF STELLENBOSCH: Prof David Tabb

FHI 360: Dr Jennifer Deese (Depo Provera and Beyond Principal Investigator) Dr Kavita Nanda Dr Charles Morrison

VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY: Dr Gregory Buck Dr Myrna Serrano Dr Jerome Strauss Dr Kimberly Jefferson

MATCH RESEARCH UNIT: Prof Jennifer Smit

SETSHABA RESEARCH CENTRE: Dr Khatija Ahmed

Funding

Metaproteomics analysis: NIH; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Poliomyelitis Research Foundation (PRF); National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF)

Bacterial isolation and characterization: South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC); National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF)

WISH cohort: European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership Strategic Primer grant MISC cohort: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Depo cohorts (ECHO and Sayana Press Extension clinical trials): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, US Agency for International Development and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, South African Medical Research Council, and UN Population Fund (ECHO), and FHI 360 (Sayana Press).

Contact Details

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

Doctor Lindi Masson

Senior Research Fellow

Telephone

+61392822282

Email

[email protected]