Human and animal papillomaviruses
Papillomaviruses are causative agents of cervical cancer and genital warts in humans, while in animals they cause a variety of diseases ranging from papillomas in cattle to sarcoids in equids.
Research in the CVR focuses both on human and animal papillomaviruses. A human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that targets 70% of HPVs causing cervical cancers was introduced in 2008 and studies on bovine papillomavirus conducted in Glasgow also contributed to the development of this vaccine. Despite the efficacy of this vaccine, improvements in HPV testing, disease diagnosis and treatment are still urgently required. The HPV vaccine does not protect individuals already exposed to the virus nor does it protect against all high risk HPV. Moreover, vaccine procurement and delivery is too expensive for use in the third world where 80% of cervical cancers arise.
At the CVR we interact with other key papillomavirus experts in several partner Institutions. The focus of our group is to increase our understanding of the molecular biology of papillomaviruses and the pathogenesis of animal and human papillomavirus-induced diseases. We aim to identify novel anti-viral targets and develop new antiviral treatments. With the Cubie group in Edinburgh we will develop new diagnostic approaches for monitoring HPV prevalence in cervical samples in the post-vaccine era. Outcomes will provide improved detection and treatment of papillomavirus spread and disease.