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Sexually Transmitted Infections

Research Unit

Lifecycle:1 Jan 1990 →  Today
Organisation profile:


This unit was established in January 2012. The fulltime members are Chris Kenyon (head), Kara Osbak and Ilan Schwartz (PhD Students). We collaborate extensively with the units of Prof Xaveer Van Ostade (Antwerp University), Prof Philippe Buscher (ITM), Prof Jacques van Lankveld (Open University), Prof Rebecca Brotman (University of Maryland) as well as a number of other units in the ITM, UA and South African institutions.

Main research topics

  • SeTPAT. The search for a Treponema pallidum antigen test. We are using MS/MS and MRM to detect the presence of various T pallidum antigens in the sera of 120 patients with a new diagnosis of syphilis. We aim to develop an ELISA that can detect T pallidum antigen via this approach
  • Preventing the emergence of antibiotic resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoea.
  • Development of a STERGM Model of STI transmission in MSM
  • Characterize the high risk MSM microbiome and resistome
  • Investigate the reasons underpinning differences in STI prevalence between populations
  • Develop a model for transmission of genital microbiomes in general and bacterial vaginosis associated bacteria in specific
  • Emmonsia africana. We aim to develop a new antigen test, PCR and serologic test for diagnosis and seroprevalence surveys. We also aim to test via molecular and culture techniques the environmental location of this organism