The causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, infects roughly a third of the world's population. Much of this is sub-clinical and latent.
TB pathogenesis research currently focuses on delineating the mechanism of latency and reactivation from latency.
The laboratory has been studying a family of operons called mce (mce1-4) that resemble ABC transporters, possibly involved in lipid transport across the cell wall of M. tuberculosis. The phenotype of mutants disrupted in the operon are studied in mouse models.
The basic pathogenesis research has led to several translational research activities
The development of a new therapeutic/adjunct TB vaccine
New biomarker-based diagnostic and prognostic tests for TB.
An adjunctive therapeutic vaccine against reactivation and post-treatment relapse tuberculosis. Vaccine; 2012;30:459-465.
Free mycolic acid accumulation in the cell wall of the mce1 operon mutant strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J Microbiol. 2013; 51(5):619-26. PMID:24037657.
- Inhibition of toll-like receptor 2 (TLR-2)-mediated response in human alveolar epithelial cells by mycolic acids and Mycobacterium tuberculosis mce1 operon mutant. Pathog Dis. 2014; 70(2):132-40.
Photos: Mycobacterial infections of macrophages with immune effector proteins labeled; (1) blue is a nuclear counterstain, p62 (green), and mycobacteria (red). (2) p62 (red), mycobacteria (green), hoechst DNA (blue) (3) mycobacteria(red), confocal-LC3(green), colocalization. Credit- Michael Schump