The immunology of tuberculosis: From bench to bedside

Authors

  • Keertan DHEDA,

    Corresponding author
    1. Lung Infection and Immunity Unit, Division of Pulmonology and Clinical Immunology & UCT Lung Institute, Department of Medicine,
    2. Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa,
    3. Centre for Infectious Diseases and International Health, Department of Infection, University College London, London, UK,
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  • Stephan K. SCHWANDER,

    1. UMDNJ-School of Public Health, Centre for Global Public Health, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Piscataway, New Jersey,
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  • Bingdong ZHU,

    1. Lanzhou Centre for Tuberculosis Research, Institute of Pathogenic Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
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  • Richard N. Van ZYL-SMIT,

    1. Lung Infection and Immunity Unit, Division of Pulmonology and Clinical Immunology & UCT Lung Institute, Department of Medicine,
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  • Ying ZHANG

    1. Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and
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  • Dr K.D. is an Associate Professor of Respiratory Medicine and his research interests include mycobacterial host immunity, development of field-friendly diagnostics and mycobacterial drug resistance. Dr S.K.S. is an Associate Professor of Public and Global Public Health. His laboratory-based research focuses on human antimycobacterial immunity and its environmental confounders. Dr B.Z. is an Associate Professor of Pathogenic Biology with primary research interests in tuberculosis subunit vaccine and pathogenesis. Dr R.V.Z.S. is a pulmonologist and research fellow with research interests in tobacco smoking and tuberculosis immunity. Dr Y.Z. is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and his research interests include tuberculosis pathogenesis, drug resistance, persistence and host responses to mycobacterial infections.

  • SERIES EDITORS: WING WAI YEW, GIOVANNI B. MIGLIORI AND CHRISTOPH LANGE

Keertan Dheda, Department of Medicine, H floor (Old Main Building), Groote Schuur Hospital, Observatory, Cape Town 7925, South Africa. Email: keertan.dheda@uct.ac.za or keertandheda@yahoo.co.uk

ABSTRACT

Tuberculosis (TB) is an international public health priority and kills almost two million people annually. TB is out of control in Africa due to increasing poverty and HIV coinfection, and drug-resistant TB threatens to destabilize TB control efforts in several regions of the world. Existing diagnostic tools and therapeutic interventions for TB are suboptimal. Thus, new vaccines, immunotherapeutic interventions and diagnostic tools are urgently required to facilitate TB control efforts. An improved understanding of the immunopathogenesis of TB can facilitate the identification of correlates of immune protection, the design of effective vaccines, the rational selection of immunotherapeutic agents, the evaluation of new drug candidates, and drive the development of new immunodiagnostic tools. Here we review the immunology of TB with a focus on aspects that are clinically and therapeutically relevant. An immunologically orientated approach to tackling TB can only succeed with concurrent efforts to alleviate poverty and reduce the global burden of HIV.

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