Neglected Tropical Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases are of great concern for humans, wildlife and livestock. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies more than 30 infectious diseases, originating from bacteria, viruses or parasites. Beside of infection biology and epidemiology, sexually transmitted diseases do have a significant influence on the population size and social rank of affected individuals.
The new working group of the Pathology Unit investigates such diseases. One of the highlighted research areas are diseases caused by the syphilis bacterium Treponema pallidum. The zoonotic potential of simian Treponema strains makes them a missing link to understand human syphilis evolution and pathogenicity. In cooperation with other departments of the German Primate Center we investigate socio-ecological (epidemiology, ethology), genetic (pathomechanisms, phylogeny) and infection biological (translational animal models) questions that may help to better understand human infection. Research results contribute to the eradication of such diseases in human and wildlife.