Host immunomodulation by mycobacterial pathogens
Pathogenic mycobacteria constitute a major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Those causing Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli ulcer, the most common mycobacterial diseases, have in common the ability to escape protective immunity. Their successful eradication requires long-term combination antibiotic therapies, with non-compliance to treatment promoting the emergence of multi-drug resistant strains. Our team studies the mechanisms evolved by pathogenic mycobacteria to establish chronic infections in humans, in particular the bacterial virulence factors altering host immune functions. In this way we hope to develop innovative approaches to mycobacterial infection control, and identify novel natural compounds with immunomodulatory potential.