Contact person: Professor Maria Lerm, phone: +46 (0)13 224 779
The research activities at the Division of Medical Microbiology in Linköping are mainly focused on different aspects of barrier function of the host organism toward infectious and inflammatory agents. The research is coupled to understanding the development and enhancing the treatment of allergy, infections, rheumatoid and auto-immune diseases, as well as to biofilm formation and activity in tissues, on medical devices, and in environmental and ecological settings.
Research connected to South Asia
In December 2009, Prof. Maria Lerm received SEK 750 000 as a three-year grant from the Swedish Research Links programme (funded by Sida and the Swedish Research Council)
for a India related project entitled ”Latency of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: evaluating drugs and drug targets using innovative models”. See the full list of South Asia related projects given Swedish Research Links grants 2009.
The research project will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Joyoti Basu and two other Indian researchers at the Dept. of Chemistry, Bose Institute in Kolkata, India. Project abstract: The proposed project aims at clarifying the strategies adopted by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) to survive within macrophages, with special focus on the mechanisms for persistent infection. A model for latent Mtb infection of macrophages, currently under establishment, will allow investigations of the mechanisms by which Mtb manages to persist within macrophages. This model will also be used to find ways to enhance macrophage immune function, which may shift the dynamic host-pathogen interaction in favour of the host macrophage. The project involves the collaboration of three Indian and one Swedish academic partners and one Swedish company.
Within the planned project, not only the basic mechanisms of latent tuberculosis infection will be addressed, but also the initial steps towards the identification of novel drug candidates will be taken, thus filling the gap of new anti-tuberculoid drugs in pipe-line. Conceptually, the planned research is based on the idea that shortening the time of chemotherapy required for treatment of tuberculosis (TB) by addressing latent infection will reduce the risk of multi-drug resistance and allow eradication of the disease. The outcomes of the project will strengthen the knowledge of persistent Mtb infection and facilitate the identification of new drugs to treat TB.