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Viral Sexually Transmitted Diseases

This section carries out reference diagnostics and research into human papilloma virus (HPV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections. These studies include genotyping and comparative genomic studies of viruses, antiviral resistance, transplantation-related testing for herpesviruses, investigations of encephalitis and serology to improve the diagnosis and treatment of viral STDs. It is now clear that HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer. Typing methods developed by the laboratory are being used to study the prevalence of different serotypes of HPV, some of which are known to be more carcinogenic than others. With the recent invention of effective HPV vaccines, our work will investigate possible applications of HPV testing to improve cervical cancer screening. In addition, our preliminary studies will provide vital information essential for the design and possible future implementation of effective preventative vaccination programs for HPV and hence prevention of cervical cancer.