Dendritic cell cutaneous egression in Mycobacterium ulcerans infection
- Research Opportunity
- Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
- Number of Honour Places Available
- Number of Master Places Available
- Clinical Pathology
- Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC)
|Associate Professor John Haymanemail@example.com||Personal web page|
|Dr Yi Qiu Sunfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Summary In exploring the mechanisms of how M. ulcerans evades local immune responses in the skin, we can gain further insight into how this common organism causes destructive "flesh-eating" ulcers in children and elder populations worldwide.
Buruli ulcer (a.k.a. Bairnsdale ulcer) is a chronic debilitating disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, and is the third most prevalent mycobacterial disease in humans after tuberculosis and leprosy. It is prevalent in Africa, South America, the Western Pacific and interestingly has a growing prevalence in Australia. Although 70% of Buruli ulcers worldwide occur in children under 15 years of age, it occurs in an elder population in Australia.
Mycobacterium ulcerans infection is associated with production of a toxin, named mycolactone. This agent suppresses the normal immune responses including the normal function of dendritic cells. Dendritic cells normally function as antigen presenting cells, travelling to regional lymph nodes and inducing clonal proliferation. In M. ulcerans infection this does not occur: instead large numbers of dendritic cells are seen in the epidermis superficial to the zone of infection and appear to be shed along with keratinised squamous epithelial cells. By altering local immune responses required for normal skin healing, M. ulcerans causes destructive chronic skin ulcers, wounds in subcutaneous tissue and sometimes to bone, requiring extensive surgical excision and complex wound healing regimens that pose a heavy health burden on the patient, the community and the health care system.
Tissue sections from some 200+ Mycobacterium ulcerans surgical specimens are available for review. This pathophysiological process does not appear to have been described and review of the presently available material should result in a publication. The project is well suited to a self-motivated honours student with experience in histopathology or related sciences.
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research
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Research NodeVictorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC)
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