[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/454620]
Prof Sepehr Tabrizi
Prof Basil Donovan
Prof Christopher Fairley
Brief description Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis (CT). Annually, 50 million new cases of chlamydia are estimated to occur worldwide which if untreated, can lead to serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women and epididymitis in men. Over the past decade, there has been a sharp increase in diagnoses of chlamydia in Australia, coinciding with a reported upsurge in sexual risk behaviour (increased partner numbers and-or practices of unprotected sex), particularly among men who have sex with men (MSM). In addition, there are current outbreaks of an invasive CT strain, causing lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV), throughout Western Europe, with cases now reported in the USA. LGV can lead to severe anogenital ulcers, which can increase transmission of HIV, hepatitis C, and other STIs. With growing international travel, the likelihood of LGV outbreaks in Australia, particularly in MSM, is increased. Recently, isolated cases of LGV have been noted in MSM attending Sydney and Melbourne Sexual Health Centres, indicating LGV is possibly already in circulation. Since we know little about circulating CT types in Australia it would be difficult to assess the burden of an LGV outbreak. Due to increasing CT infections and likely risk of increased HIV transmission, particularly with LGV strains, surveillance of CT genotypes in Australia, especially in MSM, is important. The purpose of this study is to type CT strains in our population by looking at their genetic makeup. CT-positive specimens from Melbourne and Sydney will be used to identify CT types in circulation and to assess if LGV types are present. The knowledge obtained from this study will be novel and invaluable, and could contribute considerably to the development of improved disease prevention and intervention strategies, including the design of vaccines.
Funding Amount $AUD 194,875.88
Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants
Standard Project Grant