Mr Michael Stutz - Infectious Diseases and Immune Defence division

Mr Michael Stutz - Infectious Diseases and Immune Defence division

Davis Auditorium
Start Time: 
Wed, 15/05/2019 - 1:00pm
End Time: 
Wed, 15/05/2019 - 2:00pm

Die another way – A contest between macrophages and TB

​Wednesday seminar

Countless pathogens have evolved the ability to take up residence and replicate within host cells. While this enables them to evade highly potent extracellular immune responses, these pathogens now face the unique challenge of simultaneously resisting destruction by intracellular antimicrobial defences, commandeering host cell metabolism in order to replicate, and finally, coordinating their exit from the parasitised host cell. The classic exemplar of a microbe that has meticulously refined this infection process is Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) – the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB) – which has claimed more lives than any other infectious agent in recorded human history and continues to kill nearly 2 million people each year.

The ability of Mtb to establish a productive infection is contingent on its survival within macrophages, and therefore, on the survival of macrophages – to a point. The pathogen is thought to initially restrict certain host cell death machinery that normally leads to the destruction of intracellular pathogens, before eventually inducing a form of death that liberates viable bacilli. Thus, the macrophage and Mtb engage in a tug-of-war that ultimately decides the outcome of the infection. However, the identities of the cell death pathways that prevail to promote TB disease, as well as those that may mediate a degree of disease control in vivo have been elusive. This seminar will present an in vivo genetic dissection of the dynamics of this macrophage-Mtb interaction.