Pathogenic mycobacteria are among the most devastating infectious agents of mortality worldwide causing tuberculosis, opportunistic infections of AIDS patients, and leprosy. A major problem in controlling mycobacterial infections is their remarkable antibiotic tolerance that limits chemotherapeutic options and is the root cause of treatment failure. In addition, pathogenic mycobacteria are able to persist for a long period of time inside the host cells circumventing host destruction. Persistence and antibiotic resistance are phenotypically associated and are supported by related genetic or physiological determinants.
We are studying mechanisms involved in intrinsic antibiotic resistance, persistence/virulence and how they are connected in pathogenic mycobacteria. Understanding these mechanisms may help develop novel antimycobacterial drugs that overcome the inherent antibiotic resistance and latent infection of pathogenic mycobacteria.
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