Willem A. Sturm

University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Dr. Sturm is involved in research from the mid 1970s. An outbreak of genital ulcer disease in Amsterdam sparked his interest and since then sexually transmitted diseases have remained one of his major fields of interest and many publications have emanated from this work. These include studies on pathogenesis of chancroid and a large number of epidemiological observations, including the emergence of drug resistance in several causative agents of STDs. Dr. Sturm’s move to Pakistan and later to South Africa resulted in an additional field of interest; mycobacterial diseases. A series of publications on diagnosis and management of tuberculosis in a rural setting was the result of this. His initiative to test all M. tuberculosis isolates from routine specimens against first and second line drugs allowed for the detection of MDR and XDR tuberculosis in KwaZulu-Natal. He reported the presence of a predominant strain amongst MDR/XDR isolates in KwaZulu-Natal which is now known as the F15/LAM4/KZN strain. Current studies focus on determining the virulence of this strain in comparison with other successful M. tuberculosis strains like the Beijing family. Hi is currently head of the MRC Genital Ulcer Research Unit and Dean of the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Biography Updated on 1 November 2010

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