The Clinical and Microbiology Laboratory Core (Micro Core B) supports 4 Projects in the Southeastern STI Cooperative Research Center and provides a broad base of support for other local, national and international STI research projects. We will conduct experimental human infection studies with Neisseria gonorrhoeae to determine the requirements for the gonococcal antimicrobial efflux pump, lipooligosaccharide structures and phase variation (Project 3, Shafer);pilus-associated proteins (Project 4, Thomas);iron-regulated adhesins (Project 2, Comelissen);and peptidoglycan release (Joseph Dillard, Univ. of Wisconsin) for urethral infection in men. In addition, clinical specimens from experimentally infected subjects will be collected for analysis to evaluate innate immune responses to experimental gonococcal infection (Project 5, Duncan). To facilitate the identification and characterization of iron-regulated surface proteins in N. gonorrhoeae that may function as adhesins, the Micro Core will coordinate interactions between Dr. Comelissen in Project 2 at the Virginia Commonwealth University and the UNC-Duke Michael Hooker Proteomics Center, located on the UNCChapel Hill campus. In addition, the Micro Core will serve as a repository of clinical and biological specimens from a variety of studies for future STI testing. We will continue to evaluate new diagnostic tests for sexually transmitted pathogens. In particular, we will evalute a T. vaginalis genotyping system (developed as a project in the previous NC STI-TM CRC) using recent specimens from HIV-infected women with trichomoniasis participating in an ongoing clinical study in the Gulf South STI CRC and T. vaginalis isolates from women in a recently completed study conducted by the UW STI CRC in Peru. Other activities will include the evaluation and use of tests for biomarkers of recent semen exposure, including detection of prostate-specific antigen. In addition, the Micro Core will continue to perform STI diagnostic testing in support of clinical research studies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1-MMT-M)
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
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