Infectious diseases – diseases which can be spread, directly or indirectly, from one person to another – are generally caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi. While some can be treated quickly, other infectious diseases, like TB and hepatitis, can cause life-long problems. It’s becoming even more crucial that we understand and control infectious diseases as they are increasingly being found to cause cancers, such as those affecting the liver, stomach and lymph glands.
Australia has made great advances in the control of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria, influenza, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS. However, infectious diseases still account for more than 1 in 100 deaths in Australia and people affected by infectious diseases, like TB and hepatitis, can suffer serious illness.
For billions of people living in resource-limited countries, infectious diseases are a major health threat. However, it is possible to prevent and treat many of these diseases, like tuberculosis.
The Centenary Institute conducts research into tuberculosis (TB), liver infections (Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C), herpes simplex virus, influenza, malaria and Leishmania.
Tuberculosis is a worldwide pandemic – more than 2 billion people are infected with the TB bacteria and 1.7 million die from the disease each year. Our TB research aims to understand how the immune system responds to TB infection and develop new tests, vaccines, drugs and methods for controlling this disease.
Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
Chronic liver damage affects up to 20% of the Australian population. It has many causes, including Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C infections. Liver cancer – one of the fastest growing cancers in Australia – is often the result of chronic liver damage.
Researchers from our Liver Immunobiology lab investigate how liver damage causes liver failure or liver cancer and understanding immune response to the liver, which is important for successful organ transplantations and controlling liver infections. We are also involved in major clinical collaborations with nation-wide hepatitis C clinical studies in antiviral treatment outcomes.
- Read about the containment of multi-drug resistant TB in the Pacific is critical
- Read about the progress in hepatitis C treatment
- Read about setting new standards in treating hep C
- Read about how the new hepatitis cure is a sign of things to come
- Read about the Centenary welcoming approval of new hepatitis C drug
- Read about grants for Centenary's tuberculosis and hepatitis C research
Other infectious diseases
Our Immune Imaging lab uses cutting-edge microscopy techniques to determine how the immune system fights intruding microbes. Current research projects are looking at infectious diseases such as herpes simplex virus, influenza, malaria and Leishmania.