Sarah Weng Rose Hills
Characterizing and Understanding the Initial Infection Profile of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and its Relationship to Systemic Dissemination
One of the leading causes of death by an infectious agent, Tuberculosis (TB) currently affects roughly 1/3 of the worlds population. However, a majority of these infected individuals carry a latent disease state within the lungs, and are asymptomatic. While it is widely known that the bacteria eventually infects macrophage cells within the lungs in order to actively propagate the disease, the first couple days following infection are less well understood. My project this summer will study an infected mouse model in order to characterize the initial infection profile of the bacteria. Furthermore, I hope to determine if the types of cells infected in the initial profile correlate with the chances of acquiring active systemic disease later in life. If successful, this new research has strong implications on novel treatment development.