Infectious Disease Research

Worldwide, 40 million people are infected with HIV and nearly 3 million people die annually of AIDS, malaria kills approximately 2.7 million people each year, tuberculosis is present in one-third of the world’s population and causes one-quarter of all preventable adult deaths, and Crohn’s disease, a chronic debilitating intestinal disorder, affects more than two million people. Cholera and “staph” infection are major public health problems. These diseases, cholera toxin and other bacterial toxins, as well as nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus “Staph” bacteria are all being studied by our faculty. The laboratories studying these diseases are working toward discovering novel drugs and their targets for therapeutic intervention, developing convenient diagnostic tests, and studying the innate ability of humans to resist diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Current research programs in UCF deal with these major diseases. The main objectives include understanding of innate ability of humans to resist bacterial and viral infection, development of new diagnostic methods and identification of targets for developing novel therapeutic agents to treat such infectious diseases.