Washington University in St. Louis
Stopping Latent Tuberculosis (TB) From Turning into Active Disease
Most people infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) develop asymptomatic latent (hidden) TB, which cannot be transmitted, but is associated with a 10 percent lifetime risk of developing active transmissible disease. The immune protein interleukin (IL)-17, induced by vaccination, drives formation of protective structures within the lung, which contribute to protection against TB disease in mice. In this proposal, we will investigate the role of IL-17 during latency, and determine whether vaccine-induced IL-17 during this stage of disease could prevent the development of active TB. Such an approach could reduce transmission of Mtb and help to reduce the global TB burden.