Interaction of viral and tuberculosis infections in the lung

Summary

This project will examine how two of the most important respiratory pathogens of humans, Influenza and Tuberculosis, interact and stimulate protective immune responses in the lungs.

Supervisor(s)

Professor Warwick J Britton

Research Location

Camperdown - Centenary Institute

Program Type

Masters/PHD

Synopsis

Tuberculosis remains a major cause of death and morbidity throughout the world.  Protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in the lung is dependent on the activation of CD4 and CD8 T cells in mediastinal lymph nodes and their recruitment back to the lung.  Many other viral respiratory pathogens stimulate T cell responses in the lung and the interaction between different types of infection in the lung is poorly understood.  This interaction may influence the effectiveness of vaccines against either mycobacterial or viral pathogens during infection with different types of pathogen.  We plan to address these questions by using recombinant viruses, which express dominant CD4 and CD8 T cell epitopes from mycobacterial secreted proteins.  In collaboration with Dr Stambas, University of Melbourne, Influenza, a model viruses, which stimulates a transient lung infection lung infection, has been engineered to express two peptide epitopes of M. tuberculosis.  TcR transgenic mice whose lymphocytes recognize the dominant CD4 T cell epitope in mycobacteria are also available. These will allow us to determine how mycobacterium-specific CD4 and CD8 memory T cell responses, which are stimulated by short-lived or persistent viral infections, influence T cell responses to primary infection with M. tuberculosis or the vaccine strain M. bovis (BCG). The nature of the memory responses to the different pathogens will be examined and the effect of these responses on protection against subsequent mycobacterial challenge.  These studies are relevant to the design and implementation of more effective vaccines against tuberculosis using recombinant viral and mycobacterial vectors.

Additional Information

Cellular immunology, molecular biology and preparation of recombinant vaccine vectors, cytokine analysis, RT-PCR

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Keywords

influenza, tuberculosis, Lung infections, Vaccines, Immunology, Virology, microbiology, Cardiovascular & respiratory diseases, Infectious diseases, Infection & immunity, Respiration

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 228

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