University of Pittsburgh
Mobilizing the Immune System Against TB
Tuberculosis (TB) is a lung disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). TB causes lung lesions called granulomas. Blood and airway cells are often studied in people, but how it relates to granulomas is not known. We will use a macaque model of TB to study blood and airway cells in relation to granulomas using innovative technology. By knowing how blood and airway cells relate to that of granulomas, we will be able to relate outcomes in the lung that are reflected in blood and airways. This knowledge will aid in the development of better vaccines and treatment options to kill TB and reduce damage to healthy lung tissue by immune response.
Update: In the first year, we used novel, unbiased, cutting edge, high throughput single-cell mRNA sequencing technology (SeqWell) to investigate the phenotypes (observable traits) of immune and non-immune cells that correlate cells in the circulation and airways with respect to that of individual granulomas in macaques with Mtb infection. The data obtained in this study will provide unparalleled insight into types, states and functions of immune and non-immune cells in the circulation and airway and how these relate to those in lung tissue and granulomas of the same animal.