Innate Immunity Study

The Role of Innate Immune Responses, and of Genetic Determinants of Innate Immune Responses, in BCG Vaccination-induced Protection Against Childhood TB


Type of Study Prospective observational study
Design Case control study
Project Site Western Cape, South Africa
Sample Size total 300 subjects
Population 150 infants protected and 150 infants non-protected by BCG against subsequent TB disease. Blood was collected in at 10 weeks of age and infants will be followed over the first 4 years of life to identify whom have developed TB disease
Study Period 2005-2015

Goal of Study:

We aim to identify immune correlates of vaccination-induced resistance to subsequent TB disease. We now hypothesize that cells of the innate immune system play a central role in inducing this protection. First, we will compare the function of 2 types of innate immune cells, in peripheral blood of protected and of unprotected children: dendritic cells and monocytes, to characterize the function of these cells and focus on recognition and processing of mycobacterial antigens. Second, we will study polymorphisms in genes that a critical for the innate immune response against TB, comparing protected and in unprotected children.

Objectives of Study:

  1. To determine whether innate immune cell function correlates with BCG-induced protection against TB
  2. To assess whether genetic variation within innate immune responses can generate any functional correlates of BCG-induced protection against TB
  3. To characterize the molecular and cellular mechanisms which underlie and functional and genetic findings made in relation to aims 1 and 2