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Human endogenous factors in the control of mycobacterial infection

Ongoing

Project description

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), one of the major pathogens of mankind, which kills approximately 1.3 million people each year. The control of Mtb infection is further complicated with the emergence of multi-drug resistant Mtb strains and introduction of HIV infection. Therefore, new interventions are needed on urgent bases for global control of this infection.   

Mtb infection induces inflammation at the site of infection, leading to leakage of serum factors, which in turn, are likely to come in contact with the pathogen, thus modulate the pathogenesis of tuberculosis. We are investigating some of these factors such as Surfactant Protein D (SP-D), Complement Protein C1q, Fibronectin and Platelet Activating Factor (PAF) which are either produced locally or leak-out from serum during inflammation, for their interaction and growth inhibitory effect on mycobacteria. In this project the non-pathogenic mycobacteria such as M. smegmatis and BCG are used as models for Mtb and later these findings and the underlying mechanisms will be confirmed with Mtb. 

If these endogenous factors showed inhibitory effect on Mtb growth, then, these factors have the potential to be used to treat multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.