Hepatitis B, HIV, and chlamydia: sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are globally on the rise. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the overall infection rates for gonorrhea have more than doubled between 2008 and 2014 in Europe. In 2014, the highest number of new HIV infections was announced since reports began in the 1980s. “The WHO estimates that, worldwide, about one million sexually transmitted infections are acquired every day”, says Didac Carmona-Gutierrez, Institute of Molecular Biosciences of the University of Graz.
This week, Carmona-Gutierrez and his colleague Frank Madeo published the first freely available compilation of the medical and molecular details of the eight most frequent sexually transmitted diseases. The synapsis is in English and released in a special issue of the online scientific journal “Microbial Cell”.
STDs not only have a major impact on the well-being and the health of the persons affected by them – they also represent a huge socioeconomic problem. “In the US, treatment of diseases arising from the eight most common sexually transmitted infections is estimated to add up to yearly costs of 16 billion dollars”, confirms Carmona-Gutierrez. The STDs with the greatest incidence worldwide are syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus, HIV, and human papillomavirus. For the special issue, renowned scientists in their corresponding fields have contributed a review in English for each of these STDs, describing how they originate, are passed on and how they can be treated. Moreover, all relevant issues surrounding each STD are addressed: transmission and protection; pathology/symptomatology; epidemiology; incidence and prevalence; treatment and curability; and molecular mechanisms of infection.
“Microbial Cell” is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal based in Graz, Austria, and provides an international platform for research works that implement the use of unicellular organisms and multicellular microorganisms to understand cellular responses to internal and external stimuli and/or to model human diseases. “Microbial Cell” runs as an open access journal, thus providing free access to all its content.
Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz
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