The vast majority of M. tuberculosis infected individuals do not progress to active tuberculosis but remain latently infected (LTBI). In LTBI, a highly orchestrated immune response is central for efficient pathogen surveillance and protection. Several factors e.g T helper type (TH)1 cells, IFN-γ and TNF-γ contribute to protective host immunity but biomarker reliably predicting disease progression or reoccurrence remain elusive.
To address this problem, this study utilises multi-colour flow cytometry platforms, serodiagnostic techniques and functional assays to address the following;
- Screen and identify candidate host biomarkers for TB/LTBI diagnosis, based on M. tuberculosis specific T-cell phenotypes, activation or cytokine expression profiles.
- To identify host immune biomarkers that can be used as surrogates to monitor TB treatment response.
This study will provide new and important insights into the nature of M. tuberculosis specific T cell response and better our understanding of host immune factors that can discriminate, monitor response to treatment and predict the transition from latent infection to active disease.
(by Ernest Adankwah)