Developing a vaccine to protect children with cystic fibrosis from pathogenic infection
- Research Opportunity
- Number of Honour Places Available
- Number of Master Places Available
- Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
|Professor Phil Suttonfirstname.lastname@example.org||Personal web page|
|Professor Sarath Ranganathan||Sarath.Ranganathan@rch.org.au||Personal web page|
Summary This project will study vaccines in a mouse model of M. abscessus infection and determine which provides the best protection. A key aim will be to use standard immunological techniques to identify the immune response induced by these vaccinations that protects against M. abscessus infection.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disorder caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. CF disease begins in early life and is characterised by a reduced lung function that is related to infection with a number of opportunistic pathogens. These infections drive a chronic airway inflammation that results in pathological structural changes in the lung. In recent years a new lung pathogenic infection, Mycobacterium abscessus, has emerged as an important global threat to individuals with CF. M. abscessus are multidrug-resistant bacteria that are associated with poor clinical outcomes and for which treatment is extremely difficult. Treatment typically involves the long-term use of toxic agents, including the injection of antibiotics that are frequently associated with major side-effects such as deafness and kidney failure. M. abscessus infection can also prevent a CF patient from receiving a life-saving lung transplantation.
AIM: Given the above issues, we believe prevention through vaccination holds the best promise for these patients. The Aim of this project is therefore to identify a vaccine that has the potential to prevent infection with M. abscessus.
APPROACH: This project will study vaccines in a mouse model of M. abscessus infection and determine which provides the best protection. A key aim will be to use standard immunological techniques to identify the immune response induced by these vaccinations that protects against M. abscessus infection.
SIGNIFICANCE: Identifying a vaccine that protects against M. abscessus in the mouse model will guide future research aimed at developing a vaccine for protecting children with CF from this important pathogen.
The project will be supervised by Prof Sutton, who is an expert on vaccine development, especially against bacteria pathogens at mucosal surfaces, and Prof Sarath Ranganathan, who is Head of Respiratory Medicine at Royal Children's Hospital and an expert on CF.
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Research NodeRoyal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
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