Human and animal mycobacterial diseases, including human and bovine tuberculosis, leprosy, Johne's disease and others.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a major human pathogen, causing the widespread disease of tuberculosis. It latently infects 1/3 of the world's population, and causes between 1 and 1.5 million deaths per year worldwide. Mycobacterium bovis is a close relative of M.tb, sometimes causing disease in humans but mostly infecting livestock, especially cattle. It is a major animal pathogen, with a huge economic burden.
In our lab we study virulence factors of both M. tb and M. bovis. We try to discover genes and pathways important for their ability to cause disease, and interrupt these genes using molecular techniques to produce non-pathogenic mutants, with potential to serve as vaccines against these diseases.
We cooperate with laboratories in the USA, Belgium and Russia in our studies.