Understanding the Role of Antibodies in Protecting Against Tuberculosis

Understanding the Role of Antibodies in Protecting Against Tuberculosis

To develop an effective vaccine and new immunotherapies against tuberculosis (TB), researchers need to better understand how the immune system works to prevent and control Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded Jacqueline Achkar, M.D., M.Sc., a five-year, $3.7 million grant to investigate the role of antibodies in protecting against TB.

Dr. Achkar and her colleagues are focusing on the surface glycans of Mtb, some of which elicit an antibody response. The researchers particularly want to learn where on the glycans the antibodies attach. The information gained could fill a critical gap in the current knowledge of tuberculosis immunity and lead to new strategies for developing both vaccines and antibody-based immunotherapies against TB. Dr. Achkar is associate professor of medicine and of microbiology & immunology. (1 R01 AI146329-01)