About this Research Topic
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are neglected diseases even though they are on the targeted list of WHO for control and they affect more than 300 million people annually. There are more than 30 known sexually transmissible pathogens, including bacteria, parasites and viruses. Between them, human trichomoniasis caused by Trichomonas vaginalis, a protozoan parasite, is the most common non-viral STI, worldwide. Human DNA Viruses known to be spread by sexual contact include herpes simplex virus (HSV), Human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis A & B virus and cytomegalovirus, with the first two (HSV and HPV) reaching epidemic proportions posing global health concerns.
STIs, if not treated, lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Although there are innumerable publications available on STIs, it is essential to further understand the different aspects of these infections with the final aim for a timelier diagnosis and an effective treatment, besides prevention and control strategies. Natural and adaptive immune responses are the hallmark for the establishment of microbial infections and the subsequent pathology. The research and understanding of i) conventional local immune responses, ii) the role of the immune system in the genital tract, both pre and subsequent to infection and iii) the mechanisms of immune protection against STIs are continuously under investigation. It is known that antibody levels are hormone dependant, while the role of cell mediated responses in the genital tract and the role of innate and adaptive immunity for vaccine development are still under investigation. The newer players in these processes like Nod like Receptors (NLRs), Toll like Receptors (TLRs) and T regulatory (Tregs) cells etc., which participate in the downstream activation of pathways which induce the severity of STIs, have been studied with the use of advanced molecular techniques. For example, the role of TLRs in immune responses to Trichomonas infections is well documented.
This Research Topic welcomes Original Research, Review, Mini Review, Brief Research Report, Hypothesis and Theory on STIs triggered by parasites and DNA viruses and, in particular, relevant to the following subtopics:
1. Background and advances in the STI research, with special focus on local and /or systemic immune responses.
2. Studies providing novel knowledge on immune responses in STIs with special emphasis on local immune responses in the genital tract.
3. The role of newer players like NLRs, TLRs and Tregs cells etc. in eliciting the immune response.
4. The strategies for prevention and control of STIs including novel therapeutics and vaccine development.
The aim of this Research Topic is to help to understand in detail the different aspects on STIs caused by parasites and DNA viruses with special focus on immune responses and in general, to help the healthcare professionals interested in these types of diseases.
Keywords: Trichomonas vaginalis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, DNA viruses, Immune Responses
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