Final Report Summary - TB-IMMUNOGEN (Understanding genetic control of global gene expression in human macrophages to discover new immune mechanisms protecting from tuberculosis.)
Tuberculosis (TB) is a global health problem that requires new strategies for prevention and treatment. Some people are known to be more susceptible to TB than others. The reasons are partly genetic, but specific genes remain largely unknown. Here we studied how immune cells, known as macrophages, isolated from different people respond to infection with bacteria that cause TB. We discovered numerous genes that control such responses, including novel genes, which function is unknown at present. Future studies of these genes will clarify what they do in the human body, how they work to protect us and how we could change their function to stop TB. Overall, these experiments helped us to uncover mechanisms in human cells that are responsible for killing bacteria and protecting us from TB. Eventually, these studies will help to design better vaccines and drugs to save lives of millions of people that die every year because of TB.