Research Topic

Causes for increased susceptibility to Mycobacterium tuberculosis-A close view of the immune system

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Worldwide, tuberculosis (TB) remains the most frequent and important infectious disease causing morbidity and death. One-third of the world's population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb), the etiologic agent of TB. The World Health Organization estimates that about eight to ten million new ...

Worldwide, tuberculosis (TB) remains the most frequent and important infectious disease causing morbidity and death. One-third of the world's population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb), the etiologic agent of TB. The World Health Organization estimates that about eight to ten million new TB cases occur annually worldwide and the incidence of TB is currently increasing. In this context, TB is in the top three (with malaria and HIV), being the leading causes of death from a single infectious agent, and approximately three million deaths are attributable to TB annually. In particular, pulmonary TB, the most common form of TB, is a highly contagious and life-threatening infection. As of 2010, an estimated 34 million people are living with HIV infection worldwide, with an additional 2.7 million people newly infected each year. Of those 34 million living with HIV, 22.9 million live in sub-Saharan Africa, a region where M. tb is endemic. One of the hallmarks of AIDS brought on by HIV infection is increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections, including M. tb. Individuals with type II diabetes and cigarette smokers are also believed to be increasing susceptible to M. tb infection. The goal of this Research Topic is to provide important insights on the alterations in the immune system (at the cellular and molecular level) that can occur due to infection, metabolic changes and chemical exposure leading to increased susceptibility to M. tb infection. Original articles are welcome in the following areas:
• Understanding the defects in the innate immune responses against M. tb infection in individuals with HIV infection
• Characterization of deficiencies in the adaptive immune responses against M. tb infection in individuals with HIV infection
• Effector mechanisms that are responsible for controlling M. tb infection in human macrophages
• Impaired innate immune responses against M. tb individuals with type I and type II diabetes
• Cigarette smoking and increased susceptibility to M. tb
• Benefit of immunomodulatory agents in augmenting the immune responses against M. tb infection
• Discovery of new drugs to prevent M. tb infection in highly susceptible population
• Novel approach to develop safe vaccines to prevent M. tb infection in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent individuals


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