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Understanding TB Latency


Many people infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the bacterial pathogen that causes tuberculosis (TB), harbor latent bacteria that later reactivate to cause active disease. Determining the mechanisms that regulate Mtb latency is key to understanding how Mtb inflicts its damage.

Research by John Chan, M.D., suggests that the Mtb gene Rv2623 may play an important role in regulating Mtb latency. The National Institutes of Health has awarded Dr. Chan a 5-year, $4.5 million grant to study how the Rv2623—the protein encoded by the Rv2623 gene—regulates the growth of Mtb in an infected host. The findings may shed light on how Mtb is able to evade the host immune response to persist in a dormant state in infected people and may suggest novel therapies for treating Mtb infection.

Dr. Chan is professor of medicine and of microbiology & immunology at Einstein and an attending physician in infectious diseases at Montefiore. Co-principal investigator on the grant is Jordi Torrelles, Ph.D., a professor at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute. (1R01AI146340-01A1)

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