Uncovering nutrient acquisition and metabolism in Mycobacterium tuberculosis


  • Dr Luiz Pedro Sorio de Carvalho

    The Francis Crick Institute

Project summary

Human tuberculosis still claims over a million lives annually, and the spread of multidrug-resistant strains increases the global health impact of the disease. Despite over 100 years of research since its identification we still do not know much about what Mycobacterium tuberculosis 'eats' during infection. In addition, we do not know how host-imposed stresses affect nutrient acquisition. Using virulent M. tuberculosis and a multidisciplinary approach centred on the use of metabolomics, Dr Carvalho aims to identify nutrients that are important during infection, define their transporter systems, map downstream metabolic pathways and pinpoint the nutrients' functions in cellular physiology during infection. This knowledge will significantly increase our understanding of the core processes required for M. tuberculosis survival and pathogenesis. A number of these identified pathways and proteins might represent ideal targets for the development of novel antitubercular agents, which are urgently needed to treat increasingly prevalent antibiotic-resistant infections.