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Host-directed therapy targeting the Mycobacterium tuberculosis granuloma: a review

Kiran, D, Podell, BK, Chambers, M and Basaraba, RJ (2015) Host-directed therapy targeting the Mycobacterium tuberculosis granuloma: a review Seminars in Immunopathology.

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© 2015 The Author(s) Infection by the intracellular bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Slow progress has been made in lessening the impact of tuberculosis (TB) on human health, especially in parts of the world where Mtb is endemic. Due to the complexity of TB disease, there is still an urgent need to improve diagnosis, prevention, and treatment strategies to control global spread of disease. Active research targeting avenues to prevent infection or transmission through vaccination, to diagnose asymptomatic carriers of Mtb, and to improve antimicrobial drug treatment responses is ongoing. However, this research is hampered by a relatively poor understanding of the pathogenesis of early infection and the factors that contribute to host susceptibility, protection, and the development of active disease. There is increasing interest in the development of adjunctive therapy that will aid the host in responding to Mtb infection appropriately thereby improving the effectiveness of current and future drug treatments. In this review, we summarize what is known about the host response to Mtb infection in humans and animal models and highlight potential therapeutic targets involved in TB granuloma formation and resolution. Strategies designed to shift the balance of TB granuloma formation toward protective rather than destructive processes are discussed based on our current knowledge. These therapeutic strategies are based on the assumption that granuloma formation, although thought to prevent the spread of the tubercle bacillus within and between individuals contributes to manifestations of active TB disease in human patients when left unchecked. This effect of granuloma formation favors the spread of infection and impairs antimicrobial drug treatment. By gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms by which Mtb infection contributes to irreversible tissue damage, down regulates protective immune responses, and delays tissue healing, new treatment strategies can be rationally designed. Granuloma-targeted therapy is advantageous because it allows for the repurpose of existing drugs used to treat other communicable and non-communicable diseases as adjunctive therapies combined with existing and future anti-TB drugs. Thus, the development of adjunctive, granuloma-targeted therapy, like other host-directed therapies, may benefit from the availability of approved drugs to aid in treatment and prevention of TB. In this review, we have attempted to summarize the results of published studies in the context of new innovative approaches to host-directed therapy that need to be more thoroughly explored in pre-clinical animal studies and in human clinical trials.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Authors :
Date : 28 October 2015
Identification Number : 10.1007/s00281-015-0537-x
Additional Information : This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 25 Nov 2015 09:04
Last Modified : 25 Nov 2015 09:06

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