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Presentation synopsis:

New and emerging STI concerns

More than 30 pathogens are known to be sexually transmissible. Traditional sexually transmitted infections (STI), such as syphilis and gonorrhoea are on the rise again. Zika and Ebola viruses have emerged most recently as STI, as a result of large multicountry outbreaks. Hepatitis C virus is sexually transmissible, mostly through high-risk sexual practices within networks of men who have sex with men (MSM). Food- or droplet-borne pathogens such as Shigella spp. and N. meningitidis infections have also caused outbreaks amongst MSM. I will review the emerging concerns that non-traditional sexually transmissible infections present for prevention, diagnosis and treatment in the contexts of antimicrobial resistance and antiretroviral treatment as prevention.

Speaker biography:

Nicola Low is Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland. She is interested in all sexually transmitted infections (STI), which means that any new pathogens that might be sexually transmissible are a source of fascination. Most recently, she has investigated sexual transmission of Zika virus, and the rise of antimicrobial resistance in Mycoplasma genitalium. Nicola’s main research interests are the evaluation of the benefits and harms of screening asymptomatic populations for Chlamydia trachomatis and other curable STIs, antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and M. genitalium, and new technologies for STI control, including point-of-care diagnostics.

Prof. Low completed specialist clinical accreditation in genitourinary medicine and public health in the UK; she obtained her Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene in Liverpool in 1991 and her Master of Science in communicable disease epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 1996. She acts as a temporary adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO) on several STI-related topics. She has editorial positions at Sexually Transmitted Infections and the Cochrane STI Group and is a member of the Swiss Federal Commission on Sexual Health and HIV.


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