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Innate immunity in bovine tuberculosis


Project description

Bovine tuberculosis remains the most costly agricultural problem in the UK, with this year an estimated £40m spent on testing and compensation to farmers, as well as risks of transmission to wildlife and humans. Currently, there is no effective vaccine or prophylaxis in use to combat transmission of the disease. New interventions are needed urgently. 

The objective of this project is to identify the role of soluble innate immune factors e.g. conglutinin, in the early stages of bovine tuberculosis infection and how this interaction at the host-pathogen interface contributes to the adaptive immune response against the pathogen Mycobacterium bovis and the formation of the granuloma. The granuloma is the primary pathological feature of bovine tuberculosis in the lungs and understanding how its formed and the intricacies of the host-pathogen interface within it are essential in understanding the pathogenesis of bovine tuberculosis and how it can be combated. We hypothesise that conglutinin and other innate immune factors could play a major role here and this may lead to new ideas for the prevention and treatment of bovine tuberculosis. 


  • Mehmood A, Kouser L, Kaur A, Holmskov U, Al-Ahdal MN, Sim RB, Kishore U, Tsolaki AG. Complement Dependent and Independent Interaction Between Bovine Conglutinin and Mycobacterium bovis BCG: Implications in Bovine Tuberculosis. Front Immunol. 2019 Feb 5;9:3159. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.03159. eCollection 2018.