Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program
Adjunct Professor of Microbiology
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Phone: Office: (206)667-1935, Alternate: (206)667-3731
Office Location: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Campus Box: 358080/E4-100
1. The Human Microbiome: What factors determine the constituents of the human genital tract, and how do microbial communities on mucosal surfaces impact health? We use molecular and cultivation approaches to study the ecology of human microbial communities with a focus on the common but poorly understood condition bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV is the most common cause of vaginal discharge and is associated with numerous adverse health outcomes such as HIV infection and preterm birth. Why do some women develop BV, and why are relapse rates high after antibiotic therapy? Our projects span the scale from studies of individual bacterial species interacting with cultured vaginal epithelial cells in the lab, to population studies of women and their partners exploring shifts in microbial communities in response to host physiology or behaviors.
2. Pathogen Discovery: Many microbes have not been successfully cultivated in the laboratory, and therefore molecular cultivation-independent methods are needed to detect them. We develop and deploy nucleic acid sequence-based methods for discovering novel pathogens linked to human disease. We have discovered several novel bacterial species linked with the condition bacterial vaginosis using this molecular approach. We are searching for novel pathogens in several idiopathic human diseases.
3. Molecular Diagnostics: We seek to improve the detection of known human pathogens by developing sensitive and specific diagnostic tests. These assays rely on the detection of microbial nucleic acid sequences in human tissues or body fluids. Our main focus is the use of PCR for the diagnosis of fungal infections in cancer patients, but we also develop assays for detecting other pathogen groups such as bacteria and viruses.
Marrazzo JM, Martin DH, Watts DH, Schulte J, Sobel JD, Hillier SL, Deal C, Fredricks DN. 2010. Bacterial vaginosis: identifying research gaps proceedings of a workshop sponsored by DHHS/NIH/NIAID. Sex Transm Dis. 2010 Dec; 37(12):732-44
Fredricks DN. 2011. Molecular methods to describe the spectrum and dynamics of the vaginal microbiota. Anaerobe. 2011 Aug; 17(4):191-5
Stapleton AE, Au-Yeung M, Hooton TM, Fredricks DN, Roberts PL, Czaja CA, Yarova-Yarovaya Y, Fiedler T, Cox M, Stamm WE, et. al. 2011. Randomized, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial of a Lactobacillus Crispatus probiotic given intravaginally for prevention of recurrent urinary tract infection. Clin Infect Dis. 2011 May; 52(10):1212-7
Rickerts V, Khot PD, Myerson D, Ko DL, Lambrecht E, Fredricks DN. 2011. Comparison of quantitative real time PCR with Sequencing and ribosomal RNA-FISH for the identification of fungi in formalin fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue specimens. BMC Infec Dis. 2011, Jul 26; 11:202
Ngugi BM, Hemmerling A, Bukusi EA, Kikuvi G,
Gikunju J, Shiboski S, Fredricks DN, Cohen CR. 2011. Effects of bacterial vaginosis-associated bacteria and sexual intercourse on vaginal colonization with the probiotic Lactobacillus crispatus CTV-05. Sex Transm Dis. 2011 Nov; 38(11):1020-7