Fight against STDs
12 August 2013
Spotlight on our scientists 'Helping to lead the fight against STDs'
As part of National Science Week, the University of Newcastle is shining a spotlight on the diverse science achievements of its world-leading researchers.
University of Newcastle researcher Professor Phil Hansbro and his team, including Jay Horvat and Jemma Mayall, has contributed to the discovery of the Interferon epsilon (IFNe) protein in the female reproductive tract that protects against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia and herpes simplex virus.
An estimated 450 million people worldwide are newly infected with STDs each year. The discovery could have clinical potential to boost protective immunity and to determine which women may be more or less susceptible to disease such as STIs.
Researchers are currently investigating whether this work can be used to treat STIs and whether it can be applied to other diseases such as cancer, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease.
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