Novel Treatments for Mycobacterial Infections in Infants and Children

Principal Investigator(s):

Christina Stallings, Ph.D. - Molecular Microbiology

Status: Completed

Center(s): Center for Pediatric Pulmonary Disease

Award Mechanism: Interdisciplinary Research Initiative

Project Period: 2/1/2013 - 1/31/2016

Total Amount: $300,000

Project Summary:

Infants and young children are at the greatest risk for Mycobacteria infections. Mycobacterial infections can be highly persistent and tolerant to antimicrobials. Mycobacterial biofilms harbor a drug-tolerant “persister “population, which is similar to what is observed during infection in humans and thus serves as a model of persistent bacteria. We have recently identified small molecules (termed MBIs) that inhibit biofilm formation by M. tuberculosis and M. abscessus—two pathogens relevant to infant and child health.

Aims: 1) Investigate the effect of MBI treatment on persister formation, stress tolerance, and pathogenesis; 2) Identify more potent MBIs against biofilm formation and persister formation; 3) Characterize MBI-targeted proteins and their roles in mycobacterial disease and antibiotic tolerance

Potential impact:  These studies will expand knowledge of pathways involved in mycobacterial pathogenesis and contribute to the development and optimization of novel chemotherapeutic strategies to treat pediatric mycobacterial infections.