Reshma Kodimerla L&S Sciences
Characterization of the Vaginal Microbiome Following Treatment for Chlamydia among Fijian Women
Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) is the leading bacterial cause of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) worldwide with over 130 million people newly infected each year. Among Fijian women, Ct is hyperendemic—17.85% are infected whereas the global prevalence is 4.2%. There is growing concern that antibiotic treatment for Ct may contribute to an imbalance in the vaginal microbial composition which increases the risk of STIs like Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Ng), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), human Papillomavirus (HPV), HIV-13 and possibly reinfection with Ct. My research will elucidate the effects of Azithromycin treatment on the vaginal microbiota among Fijian women with Ct at baseline who clear or do not clear their infection at follow-up compared to age-matched women who are uninfected and who either remain uninfected or develop Ct infection. This will help reveal the role antibiotic treatment plays in the vaginal microbial diversity, imbalance, and disease pathogenesis and the beneficial microbiota that can be used as a therapeutic during or post treatment.