The generosity of TB Vets has helped us achieve significant progress in understanding TB and we have subsequently become one of the leading TB research laboratories in the world.
In past years we discovered and unveiled the role of mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) proteins in mediating infection of the human white blood cells, the macrophages. More recently, we have developed a rapid test for parallel analysis of many potential drug candidates against TB, allowing a quicker and less expensive approach towards drug discovery against this deadly pathogen. Our presentations and publications over the years have gained significant scientific, industrial and media interest.
Novel approaches that consider the intracellular nature of Mtb and its interactions with the host are a promising new avenue for drug discovery. Targeting host pathways instead of the pathogen in HDT either increase host antimicrobial capacity, or reduce inflammation, and this approach is gaining more attention as an alternative approach to treat infectious diseases and limit occurrence of anti-microbial drug-resistant TB.
We have carried out an intracellular high-throughput screen (HTS) and identified a specific compound, which kills Mtb within the macrophage (cells) and not in petri dish. The compound induces controlled killing of the infected cells and does not have any effect on non-infected cells.
Our studies lay the groundwork for testing our new compound and progress through a pre-clinical TB drug discovery program. In parallel we have continued our studies of TB basic biology and pathogenicity mechanisms (disease-causing devices).
*Topmost Photo: Dr. Av-Gay (front row, second from right) and his team at VGH/UBC