Using neutrophil phenotype as a marker of TB disease and treatment response

Using neutrophil phenotype as a marker of TB disease and treatment response

Associated Students: 
Project Level: 
Email Address: 
lerato.mtshali@k-rith.org
Phone Number: 
+27 (0) 31 260-4183
Supervisor(s): 

This project looks at a set of innate immune cells called neutrophils, these are activated particularly during bacterial infections, environmental exposure and some cancers. Neutrophils have a well-defined protective role during the early stages of mycobacterial infection but experimental models have associated these cells to pulmonary pathology when the infection fails to resolve as a result of over activation. Mtshali’s research focuses on measuring the host response as a proxy for Mycobacterium tuberculosis burden. Using flow cytometry and RNA sequencing, she is investigating the potential of using blood neutrophil phenotypic and genetic signatures as a biomarker for TB disease status.