The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Collaborative Research Center will conduct research with a primary focus on prevention of female reproductive tract damage due to sexually transmitted microbial agents. This program brings together a multidisciplinary group of researchers, with both clinical and basic research expertise in the field of STIs. The UPMC STI CRC will conduct research to determine methods of """"""""prevention of female reproductive tract damage due to STIs"""""""". It will do so through a set of four interrelated and thematically linked research projects, each reflecting the particular research strengths of the Project Leaders/Principal Investigators (PI). Project 1 (Wiesenfeld, PI) will determine the importance of anti-anaerobic therapy in the treatment of women with acute PID. Project 2 (Hillier, PI) will determine the role of novel organisms in acute endometritis. Project 3 (Darville, PI) will determine the role of Toll-like receptor 2 signaling in innate and adaptive responses to Chlamydiae. Project 4 (Cherpes, PI) will determine protective T cell responses to Chlamydia trachomatis infection. Several specific areas of interest called for in the STI CRC funding opportunity announcement will be addressed by work outlined in this U19 proposal including: (1) development of treatment strategies for STIs, (2) research that provides a better understanding of vaginal ecology, including interactions between vaginal flora and STI-causing organisms, (3) research on the pathogenesis of disease caused by organisms transmitted by sexual contact and associated syndromes or conditions, and (4) research on the innate arid adaptive immune responses of the of the genital tract in relation to STIs.

Public Health Relevance

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Collaborative Research Center will conduct projects that further knowledge of STIs that lead to reproductive tract damage in women. Goals of the Center will be to inform strategies for prevention of disease associated with STIs in women, and to advance vaccine efforts to prevent STIs in both men and women.

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 (M1))
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Rogers, Elizabeth
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University of Pittsburgh
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Taylor, Brandie D; Zheng, Xiaojing; Darville, Toni et al. (2017) Whole-Exome Sequencing to Identify Novel Biological Pathways Associated With Infertility After Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Sex Transm Dis 44:35-41
Petrina, Melinda A B; Cosentino, Lisa A; Rabe, Lorna K et al. (2017) Susceptibility of bacterial vaginosis (BV)-associated bacteria to secnidazole compared to metronidazole, tinidazole and clindamycin. Anaerobe 47:115-119
Russell, Ali N; Zheng, Xiaojing; O'Connell, Catherine M et al. (2016) Identification of Chlamydia trachomatis Antigens Recognized by T Cells From Highly Exposed Women Who Limit or Resist Genital Tract Infection. J Infect Dis 214:1884-1892
Russell, Ali N; Zheng, Xiaojing; O'Connell, Catherine M et al. (2016) Analysis of Factors Driving Incident and Ascending Infection and the Role of Serum Antibody in Chlamydia trachomatis Genital Tract Infection. J Infect Dis 213:523-31
Barral, Romina; Desai, Ruchi; Zheng, Xiaojing et al. (2014) Frequency of Chlamydia trachomatis-specific T cell interferon-? and interleukin-17 responses in CD4-enriched peripheral blood mononuclear cells of sexually active adolescent females. J Reprod Immunol 103:29-37
Darville, Toni; Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Workshop Proceedings Committee (2013) Pelvic inflammatory disease: identifying research gaps--proceedings of a workshop sponsored by Department of Health and Human Services/National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, November 3-4, 2011. Sex Transm Dis 40:761-7
Darville, Toni (2013) Recognition and treatment of chlamydial infections from birth to adolescence. Adv Exp Med Biol 764:109-22
Frazer, Lauren C; Scurlock, Amy M; Zurenski, Matthew A et al. (2013) IL-23 induces IL-22 and IL-17 production in response to Chlamydia muridarum genital tract infection, but the absence of these cytokines does not influence disease pathogenesis. Am J Reprod Immunol 70:472-84
Vicetti Miguel, Rodolfo D; Harvey, Stephen A K; LaFramboise, William A et al. (2013) Human female genital tract infection by the obligate intracellular bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis elicits robust Type 2 immunity. PLoS One 8:e58565
Taylor, Brandie D; Darville, Toni; Ferrell, Robert E et al. (2013) Racial variation in toll-like receptor variants among women with pelvic inflammatory disease. J Infect Dis 207:940-6

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