How our immune system targets TBDecember 06, 2016
Every 18 seconds someone dies from tuberculosis (TB). It is the world's most deadly infectious disease.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of TB, has infected over one-third of the entire human population with an annual death toll of approximately 1.5 million people.
For the first time, an international team of scientists from Monash and Harvard Universities have seen how, at a molecular level, the human immune system recognises TB infected cells and initiates an immune response. Their findings, published in Nature Communications, are the first step toward developing new diagnostic tools and novel immunotherapies.
Lead author, Professor Jamie Rossjohn says one of the main reasons for our current lack of knowledge comes down to the complexity of the bacterium itself. Working with Professor Branch Moody's team at Harvard, they have begun to gain key insight into how the immune system can recognise this bacterium.
Crucial to the success of M. tuberculosis as a pathogen is its highly unusual cell wall that not only serves as a barrier against therapeutic attack, but also modulates the host immune system. Conversely, its cell wall may also be the "Achilles' heel" of mycobacteria as it is essential for the growth and survival of these organisms. This unique cell wall is comprised of multiple layers that form a rich waxy barrier, and many of these lipid -- also known as fatty acids -- components represent potential targets for T-cell surveillance.
Specifically, using the Australian Synchrotron, the team of scientists have shown how the immune system recognises components of the waxy barrier from the M. tuberculosis cell wall.
"With so many people dying from TB every year, any improvements in diagnosis, therapeutic design and vaccination will have major impacts," Professor Moody says.
"Our research is focussed on gaining a basic mechanistic understanding of an important biomedical question. And may ultimately provide a platform for designing novel therapeutics for TB and treat this devastating disease," Professor Rossjohn concludes.
Professor Jamie Rossjohn
+614 24 568 314
Stats on TB: http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/tuberculosis/
Professor Jamie Rossjohn is a Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging.
The $39 million ARC-funded Imaging CoE develops and uses innovative imaging technologies to visualise the molecular interactions that underpin the immune system. Featuring an internationally renowned team of lead scientists across five major Australian Universities and academic and commercial partners globally, the Centre uses a truly multi scale and programmatic approach to imaging to deliver maximum impact.
The Imaging CoE is headquartered at Monash University with four collaborating organisations - La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales and the University of Queensland.
Professor Rossjohn is also a researcher at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute.
Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.
Related Immune System Articles:
There is a strong correlation between our fear of infection and our skepticism towards immigrants.
The bacterium Salmonella enterica causes gastroenteritis in humans and is one of the leading causes of food-borne infectious diseases.
Monash University (Australia) and Cardiff University (UK) researchers have come a step further in understanding how the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) evades the immune system.
Eating carbohydrates during intense exercise helps to minimise exercise-induced immune disturbances and can aid the body's recovery, QUT research has found.
By studying a large protein (the C1 protein) with X-rays and electron microscopy, researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark have established a new model for how an important part of the innate immune system is activated.
Dendritic cells represent an important component of the immune system: they recognize and engulf invaders, which subsequently triggers a pathogen-specific immune response.
Researchers have seen, for the very first time, how the human immune system recognizes tuberculosis (TB).
A newly discovered protein from a fungus is able to suppress the innate immune system of plants.
Pathogen epitopes are fragments of bacterial or viral proteins. Nearly a third of all existing human epitopes consist of two different fragments.
Tuberculosis tricks the immune system into attacking the body's lung tissue so the bacteria are allowed to spread to other people, new research from the University of Southampton suggests.
Related Immune System Reading:
The Immune System, 4th Edition
by Peter Parham (Author)
The Immune System, Fourth Edition emphasizes the human immune system and presents immunological concepts in a coherent, concise, and contemporary account of how the immune system works. Written for undergraduate, medical, veterinary, dental, and pharmacy students, it makes generous use of medical examples to illustrate points. This classroom-proven textbook offers clear writing, full-color illustrations, and section and chapter summaries that make the book accessible and easily understandable to students.
The Fourth Edition is a major revision that brings the content... View Details
How the Immune System Works (The How it Works Series)
by Lauren M. Sompayrac (Author)
How the Immune System Works has helped thousands of students understand what’s in their big, thick, immunology textbooks. In his book, Dr. Sompayrac cuts through the jargon and details to reveal, in simple language, the essence of this complex subject.
In fifteen easy-to-read chapters, featuring the humorous style and engaging analogies developed by Dr. Sompayrac, How the Immune System Works explains how the immune system players work together to protect us from disease – and, most importantly, why they do it this way.
Rigorously updated for this fifth... View Details
The Immune System Recovery Plan: A Doctor's 4-Step Program to Treat Autoimmune Disease
by Susan Blum (Author), Mark Hyman (Foreword), Michele Bender (Foreword)
One of the most sought-after experts in the field of functional medicine shares her proven four-step program to treat, reverse, and prevent autoimmune conditions and repair your immune system.
• Are you constantly exhausted?
• Do you frequently feel sick?
• Are you hot when others are cold, or cold when everyone else is warm?
• Do you have trouble thinking clearly, aka “brain fog”?
• Do you often feel irritable?
• Are you experiencing hair loss, dry skin, or unexplained weight fluctuation?
• Do your joints ache or... View Details
The Immune System: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Paul Klenerman (Author)
The immune system is central to human health and the focus of much medical research. Growing understanding of the immune system, and especially the creation of immune memory (long lasting protection), which can be harnessed in the design of vaccines, have been major breakthroughs in medicine.
In this Very Short Introduction, Paul Klenerman describes the immune system, and how it works in health and disease. In particular he focuses on the human immune system, considering how it evolved, the basic rules that govern its behavior, and the major health threats where it is... View Details
The Immune System, 3rd Edition
by Peter Parham (Author)
The Immune System, Third Edition emphasizes the human immune system and synthesizes immunological concepts into a comprehensible, up-to-date, and reader-friendly account of how the immune system works.
Written for undergraduate, medical, veterinary, dental, and pharmacy students in immunology courses, it makes generous use of medical examples to illustrate points.
The Third Edition has been extensively revised and updated and includes two new chapters on innate and adaptive immunity, which explore the physical, cellular, and molecular principles... View Details
Immune System: 101 Natural Ways to Boost your Immune System, Fight Germs, and Live a Healthy Life
by Living in Health (Author)
BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM! 101 NATURAL WAYS TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM, FIGHT GERMS, AND LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE Your immune system is the body’s only line of defense against both foreign and internal threats. It is clear therefore that you must maintain your immune system in the best possible condition for optimal health. It is not a myth that some foods are better than others at boosting our immunity. If you were ever wondering what might be the best foods in the world to help keep your immune system in the best shape, then this book is simply the way to go. It really helps to have a great... View Details
Basic Immunology: Functions and Disorders of the Immune System, 5e
by Abul K. Abbas MBBS (Author), Andrew H. H. Lichtman MD PhD (Author), Shiv Pillai MBBS PhD (Author)
In this updated edition of Basic Immunology, the authors continue to deliver a clear, modern introduction to immunology, making this the obvious choice for today's busy students. Their experience as teachers, course directors, and lecturers helps them to distill the core information required to understand this complex field. Through the use of high-quality illustrations, relevant clinical cases, and concise, focused text, it's a perfectly accessible introduction to the workings of the human immune system, with an emphasis on clinical relevance.... View Details
Immune: How Your Body Defends and Protects You (Bloomsbury Sigma)
by Catherine Carver (Author)
The human body is like an exceedingly well-fortified castle, defended by billions of soldiers--some live for less than a day, others remember battles for decades, but all are essential in protecting us from disease. This hidden army is our immune system, and without it we could not survive the eternal war between us and our microscopic enemies.
Immune explores the incredible arsenal that lives within us--how it knows what to attack and what to defend, and how it kills everything from the common cold to the plague bacterium. We see what happens when the immune system turns on... View Details
The Immune System (The Human Body: How It Works)
by Gregory J. Stewart (Author), Denton A., M.D. Cooley (Introduction)
Discusses the immune system; including the cells, tissues, and organs involved in its function; and explains its role in keeping the body free from illness and disease. View Details
In Defense of Self: How the Immune System Really Works
by William R. Clark (Author)
We live in a sea of seething microbial predators, an infinity of invisible and invasive microorganisms capable of setting up shop inside us and sending us to an early grave. The only thing keeping them out? The immune system.
William Clark's In Defense of Self offers a refreshingly accessible tour of the immune system, putting in layman's terms essential information that has been for too long the exclusive province of trained specialists. Clark explains how the immune system works by using powerful genetic, chemical, and cellular weapons to protect us from the vast majority... View Details