Medical Microbiology

Organisational unit: Research group

Description

Despite the availability of antibiotics and the extensive use of the live attenuated vaccine Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), tuberculosis (TB) remains a major health concern with an astounding 10 million new cases per year. BCG prevents several severe forms of TB in children, but has inadequate efficacy against pulmonary TB in adults. The duration of the current antibiotic treatment is long, and it varies from six months for drug susceptible Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) strains to more than two years for multi-drug resistant (MDR-Mtb) strains. Current tuberculosis drugs are effective for susceptible Mtb strains, but are limited by hepatotoxicity and poor ability to reach dormant bacilli inside granulomas. Co-infection with HIV and the increase in MDR-Mtb strains increase mortality rates, making the development of new drugs an urgent priority. Our research is focused on finding anti-mycobacterial peptides and inhibitors of immune responses for future TB therapy.