In Papua New Guinea, 1500+ women die every year from childbirth-related causes – 80 times higher than in Australia. And these deaths are, mostly, preventable.
Hepatitis C causes a chronic infection in 70 percent of people but 30 percent will spontaneously clear their infection. In a subset of those people who clear their infection, they will continue to remain HCV free for many years despite recurrent exposure to virus.
What protects these people from developing chronic HCV is not understood and is a central aim of this project.
Using a cohort of injecting drug users based in Melbourne, we are studying their immune response to HCV.
This project involves examining the antibody response to viral glycoproteins over time and mapping the specificity of this antibody response.