Innovative tools to measure mycobacterial antigen expression in tissue

Innovative tools to measure mycobacterial antigen expression in tissue

Led by Dr Simon Waddell (University of Sussex, UK), with Dr Javier Salguero Bodes (PHE, UK), Prof Gobena Ameni (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia), Dr Sally Sharpe (PHE, UK) and Dr Ann Rawkins (PHE, UK)


Project Aims

Before we can hope to eradicate tuberculosis suffering worldwide, we need to identify the key protective antigens to target for vaccination that will eliminate Mycobacterium tuberculosis from the lung. This project will develop new RNA extraction and profiling techniques that will allow us to define the expression of M. tuberculosis (M.tb) antigens in lung tissue, at the site of disease. Our unique approach, building on international expertise from the UK and Ethiopia, will identify the key M.tb antigens for novel vaccine development, offering new opportunities for transformational change.


Project Outcomes

This award enabled us to develop key techniques to measure Mycobacterium tuberculosis gene expression in fresh and FFPE (formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded) tissue. This will allow us to characterise previously intractable host-pathogen interactions at the site of disease. We have also built a strong UK and international collaborative team to further extend this research.


Project Outputs

Medley J, Goff A, Bettencourt PJG, Dare M, Cole L, Cantillon D, Waddell SJ (2022). Dissecting the Mycobacterium bovis BCG response to macrophage infection to help prioritise targets for anti-tuberculosis drug and vaccine discovery. Vaccines (Basel); 10(1):113. PMID: 35062774. PMCID: PMC8780277


Simon Waddell


Javier Salguero Bodes


Gobena Ameni


Ann Rawkins