(1) Areas of molecular microbiology include: basic research, biochemistry, physiology, and genetics of bacteria and fungi; the synthesis of new antimicrobial agents through organic chemistry; and the discovery of new antibiotics from natural sources.
Areas of high relevance are: mechanisms of resistance to microbial agents, either of plasmid or chromosomal origin; and the manipulation of recombinant DNA molecules to better ascertain the molecular basis of pathogenicity and to create new substances of biological and medicinal utility.
(2) In the area of bacteriology and mycology, research is conducted on a wide variety of problems involved directly or indirectly with diseases of man caused by bacteria and related agents.
Studies to further the knowledge of the organisms involved include: investigations on the biology and physiology of bacteria; their morphology; and on antigenic structure and composition, toxins and endotoxins.
More specific disease-related research includes studies on pathogenesis, immunopathology, host defense mechanisms, diagnostic procedures, therapeutic measures, animal models and the epidemiology of disease.
Support is also provided for several specific disease program areas such as sexually transmitted diseases, hospital associated infections, and streptococcal diseases and sequelae.
Research is also conducted in the area of mycobacteriology which includes two major diseases: tuberculosis and leprosy.
This program also supports studies or bacterial diarrhea, bacterial vaccines, and antimicrobial agents.
(3) Studies on viruses and diseases of importance to human health are also supported.
Research in general virology encompasses the biology of viruses and the immunopathogenesis of viral diseases.
Studies that will significantly advance the knowledge of viral structure, replication, genetics, immunology, and interaction between virus and host are encouraged, as well as research on mechanisms of viral persistence and latency that underlie problems of chronic and recurring viral diseases and studies of viral pathogenesis and host's responses to viral infections or to vaccines.
Several areas of particular interest include: viral hepatitis, influenza, viral diarrhea, antiviral substances, viral vaccines and Reye's Syndrome.
(4) Research in parasitology includes projects designed to obtain a clearer understanding of host-parasite and vector-parasite relationships, with the ultimate goal of applying this basic information to the control of parasitic diseases through such procedures as chemoprophylaxis, chemotherapy, and vector control.
Research projects cover the entire field of parasitology and medical entomology.
Emphasis has been directed toward studies on the immunology of parasitic infections and the biological regulation of vectors.
(5) Studies are also being conducted on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and include basic, applied, preclinical and clinical research on HTLV-III/LAV and related retroviruses for eventual control of HTLV-III/LAV infections.
This includes research on the epidemiological, clinical, immunological, and urological aspects of this disease as well as the prevention and treatment of the major opportunistic infections associated with AIDS.
The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.