Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the agent of tuberculosis (TB) in humans, is responsible for over 1.5 million deaths annually in the world (WHO 2014), not only in developing countries but also in Western countries. In 2014 for instance, the incidence of TB was around 9/100,000 in France, with a higher incidence in the Paris area, and more 4,900 TB cases were recorded in this country. One of the major virulence features of the tubercle bacillus is its ability to parasitize host phagocytes, mostly macrophages. The mechanisms underlying this peculiar host-pathogen interaction are not fully understood. A better understanding of this process might help to develop innovative tools to treat TB.
During the past few years, we were interested in the identification of host gene/pathway involved in the response of M. tuberculosis infection and in the study of the inter-individual variability in response to infection.
The main expertise of our group is both the manipulation of tubercle bacilli and the culture and manipulation of phagocytic cells. We combine cutting-edge genomic techniques, immunological tools and cell biology, in order to understand the immune response to bacterial infection.