Research Project

The Effect of Penile Microbiome on Bacterial Vanginosis, Genital Ulcer Disease, and Genital Epithelial Trauma

Principal Investigator
Mehta, Supriya
Research Area(s)
Global Health
Infectious Diseases
Funding Source
National Institutes of Health | National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | R01AI110369


Using bacterial 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing to characterize the genital microflora, this study will determine how penile anaerobic bacteria increase risk of bacterial vaginosis (BV), genital ulcer disease (GUD) and genital epithelial trauma, and behavioral and biological factors influencing these associations. Interventions stemming from this project would be aimed at improving penile microbiome health and may include systemic or topical antimicrobials, microbicides incorporating cytokine modulators or behavioral or hygiene practices that reduce bacteria associated with BV, GUD, and genital epithelial trauma. Such interventions would (1) reduce HIV acquisition and transmission through reduction of BV, GUD, and genital epithelial trauma as co-factors for infection, and (2) improve pregnancy outcomes and genitourinary health.