Sheffield collaborates with African partners to prevent meningitis deaths in people with HIV/AIDS.

Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungus that causes fatal infections in those with a weakened immune system. It is one of the most dangerous infections to individuals with AIDS and is thought to cause hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide, every year. This is a significant problem for the large number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa, and improving our understanding of how this fungus causes meningitis will lead to new and improved treatments.

Scientists from the University of Sheffield, using funding from the Sheffield Antimicrobial Network (SHAMROK), have conducted initial proof of concept research in this area. Dr Rhoda Hawkins (Department of Physics & Astronomy) and Dr Simon Johnston (Bateson Centre and Department of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease) lead this research, combining their physical/mathematical and biological perspectives to find how the polymer coat of Cryptococcus is key to its virulence.

To read more about this research please visit the SHAMROK website.