Immune response in tuberculosis mapped

Published: 2019-05-14


Facilitated by our recently started In situ sequencing facility at SciLifeLab, researchers were able to generate a detailed map of tuberculosis immune response in mice lungs. The findings contribute to the understanding of the disease as well as speeding up the development of new vaccine candidates.

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis that mainly attacks the lungs. Hiding inside the macrophages they then force the body to create large granulomas around them further protecting them from the immune system.

Not much is known about what happens inside the granulomas but in a recent study, researchers from SciLifeLab, Karolinska Institutet and the Boston University School of Medicine created a detailed map of the immune response inside the granulomas by using “In situ sequencing” – a technique used to identify active genes in tissue samples – of 34 immune markers in mouse tuberculosis.

The researchers could define central patterns for different granuloma types and how the immune system responds in close proximity to the bacteria. The findings were published in Nature Communications and can help speed up the design and evaluation of new vaccine candidates against Tuberculosis.

Photo: BA Carrow et al.