UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
"Immunology of Infection with Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the US. With 332,511 new cases having been reported in 2007. More than 60 million cases are estimated to occur annually worlkwide. N. gonorrhoeae elicits a variety of disease syndromes. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and its sequelae including infertility, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain, affects millions of women in the U.S. at substantial cost; projected to be as high as $10 billion in the year 2010. Further, the potential severity of complications resulting from infections with N. gonorrhoeae, particularly in women, couple with enhanced HIV transmission and antibiotic resistance provide strong motivation to prevent gonorrhea through vaccination. A limitation in understanding the pathogenesis of N. gonorrhoeae infection has been the lack of animal models that simulate the clinical syndromes N. gonorrhoeae causes in humans. An array of surface antigens are present on N. gonorrhoeae that influence the binding and function of human complement (C) regulatory proteins, which enables the organism to escape immune surveillance and to function as a uniquely human pathogen. Non-human mammalian C regulators (C4b binding protein (C4BP) and factor H, the major ""upstream"" C regulators) do not bind to gonococci. In the parent grant, R37 A132725 ""Immunology of Infection with N. gonorrhoeae"", we propose to expand our knowledge of how gonoccocal LOS extensions affects serum resistance and binding of complement regulators and to develop transgenic mice that express human complement genes that might help us to better understand the pathogenesis of fonococcal infection in humans. The Aim of this supplemental application is to obtain funding for equipment to accelerate the pace at which the goals of the parent grant can be completed. The requested equipment will not only expedite the pace at which this research can be completed but will so permit a larger number of experiments to be performed and improve the quality of the data obtained in the proposed studies. Relevance: Gonorrhea is an important cause of morbidity worldwide. ""Immunology of Infection with N. gonorrhoeae"", aims to improve animal models for gonococcal infection and to evauluate Neisserial vaccine candidates. The requested equipment will accelerate completion of the proposed aims. Time savings will result from automation and increased availability of equipment. The requested items will also improve data quality."