This group studies TB in the central nervous system, develops mice models, investigates host pathogen relationships and immune responses to TB, and evaluates the toxicity of novel TB drugs.
The studies have shown for the first time that M. Tuberculosis can infect neurons. This work has opened up a niche area in investigating TB in the central nervous system and specifically TB meningitis and TB and HIV co-infection in neurons.
Work is also progressing on the development of a ‘humanised mouse’. This would provide an animal model which replicates more closely what happens in the human immune system – offering a tool to bridge the gap between laboratory animal models and humans. It is a rapidly evolving field and the aim is to position the university as a primary source of humanised mice in South Africa and maybe Africa. Such a mouse model could be used for any infectious disease but is particularly relevant to pathogens that only infect humans.
HIV/tuberculosis of the central nervous system – a study in humanised mice.
Optimisation of novel phenothiazine drug leads as therapy against tuberculosis.
Understanding TNF/TNFR and IL-1/IL-1R associated mechanisms of host-pathogen relationships and innate and adaptive immune responses to tuberculosis.
Evaluating the toxicity and anti-mycobacterial efficacy of 10H-phenothiazine N-propylsulphonate derivatives, C3 and C4 in a small animal model of tuberculosis.