Human lung protective immunity to tuberculosis: host-environment systems biology

Human lung protective immunity to tuberculosis: host-environment systems biology

Project details

The majority of people who get infected with the tuberculosis (TB) bacteria do not get sick. Given there are billions of latently infected individuals globally, the only way to eradicate TB is by stopping people developing disease when infected.

The fundamental step required for TB eradication is to truly understand human protective immunity to TB. Without this we cannot develop better diagnostics for those at risk of progressing to TB nor rapidly develop vaccines, as preclinical studies require an immunological correlate of protection to gauge potential efficacy of future candidates.

This project will utilise a systems biology approach applying RNAseq, tissue proteomics and microbiome analysis to human lung samples isolated from individuals with differing TB risk to identify mechanisms of human TB protective immunity.

About our research group

We research how the response of innate immune cells which engulf the tuberculosis (TB) bacteria, namely macrophages, neutrophils and dendritic cells is dysregulated by known TB risk factors. We combine analysis of clinical trial samples to identify novel pathways of pathogenesis in humans, with in vitro models of TB and HIV infection to identify the molecular mechanism underlying disease risk. 

This includes genetic and epigenetic changes in both the host and bacteria and how these impact the inflammatory response during infection. We are particularly interested in regulation of cell death and the heterogeneity of cellular responses due to tissue micro-environmental changes which we probe using single cell techniques and advanced live cell imaging. We also conduct biomarker discovery for prediction of infection and TB risk.

Researchers:

Dr Anna Coussens

Dr Anna Coussens in a laboratory
Dr
Anna
Coussens
Laboratory Head

Project Type: