Streptococcus Pneumoniae and Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

This is the largest grouping and draws extensively on our strong relationship with Respiratory Medicine. We have substantial programmes of activity in Pneumococcal infection (AndrewMorrissey, Oggioni and Yesilkaya), tuberculosis (Barer, Carr, Mukamolova, O’Hare) and clinical studies on influenza (Nicholson K and Stephenson) with developing projects in Burkholderia (Galyov) and Pseudomonas (Rajakumar).

This is the largest research area and draws extensively on collaboration with the Respiratory Sciences Theme. We have substantial programmes in Pneumococcal infection and tuberculosis with developing projects on several other pathogens including Burkholderia, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus, as
well as clinical studies on influenza and host immunity.

A particular strength is in the molecular mechanisms underpinning infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae (the “pneumococcus”). Pneumonia and
meningitis due to this organism remain major killers worldwide and patients with established severe infections are still very difficult to treat, even with antibiotics. Our work has highlighted the importance of a virulence factor – Pneumolysin – released by the pneumococcus in severe and lethal disease, and, furthermore, studies in model systems have shown that interfering with its action is of potential therapeutic value.

There is also a large tuberculosis research group investigating the physiology of the causative organism – Mycobacterium tuberculosis – during infection. This includes developing methods to determine the properties of bacteria in their natural environments, analysis of M.tuberculosis resuscitation-promoting factors (which are a family of secreted proteins that stimulate Mycobacterial growth), and investigation of the regulation of glutamate metabolism in M. tuberculosis.

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Contact Details

College of Life Sciences
University of Leicester
Maurice Shock Building
University Road
Leicester
LE1 7RH