K. N. Balaji

Microbiology and Cell Biology
Research Areas: 
Mycobacterium, reactivation TB, host-pathogen interactions
Research Highlights: 

Mycobacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis are extremely successful pathogens with the former afflicting more than one-third of the human population. Upon infection with M. tuberculosis, only about 10% of the infected populace goes on to develop active tuberculosis (TB) disease. The rest carry a persistent inactive infection of possibly dormant bacteria. Approximately 10% of latently infected individuals progress to a highly contagious disease state, called reactivation TB. The reactivation risk is higher when coupled with immunosupression, for example, upon co-infection with HIV/AIDS. The host-pathogen interplay is complex. Our research interest lies in studying the immunological parameters associated with host- Mycobacterium tuberculosis interactions during pulmonary-, latent- and reactivation TB. We are also investigating the signaling pathways and immunological responses orchestrated by various proteins called pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs).

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