Exploring the role of alveolar macrophages as a potential framework for the development of future TB vaccines
Alveolar macrophage and T cell interplay in the control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in humans: Can we use T cells to manipulate the permissiveness or resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in human alveolar macrophages?
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major cause of ill-health and death worldwide. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of TB, is transmitted mainly through respiratory aerosols from the lungs of an infected individual to the lungs of an uninfected individual. Within the lung, immune cells called alveolar macrophage (AMs) and T cells are thought to be key players in controlling progression of Mtb infection. However, the nature of the interaction between these immune cells, that leads to optimal control of Mtb infection in the human lung is still unclear.
This project aims to determine how T cells impact on other immune cells in the control of TB infection in the lungs. This will be achieved using cells obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage and reporter fluorescent Mtb strains.
Defining the interaction of these key immune cells will provide a rational framework for development of future TB vaccines and potentially more effective immunotherapies, that could reduce the burden of mortality and morbidity caused by TB globally.