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Pharm Res. 2018 Nov 8;36(1):8. doi: 10.1007/s11095-018-2528-9.

Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and Interactions with the Host Immune System: Opportunities for Nanoparticle Based Immunotherapeutics and Vaccines.

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Discipline of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa.
NRF-DST Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research, South African Medical Research Council Centre for Tuberculosis Research, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.
Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Immunology of Infectious Disease Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa.
DST/Mintek Nanotechnology Innovation Centre (NIC), Biolabels Unit, Department of Biotechnology, University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town, South Africa.
AIDS Clinical Trials Group Pharmacology Specialty Laboratory, New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA.
Discipline of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa.


Tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis remains a deadly infectious disease. The thin pipeline of new drugs for TB, the ineffectiveness in adults of the only vaccine available, i.e. the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine, and increasing global antimicrobial resistance, has reinvigorated interest in immunotherapies. Nanoparticles (NPs) potentiate the effect of immune modulating compounds (IMC), enabling cell targeting, improved transfection of antigens, enhanced compound stability and provide opportunities for synergistic action, via delivery of multiple IMCs. In this review we describe work performed in the application of NPs towards achieving immune modulation for TB treatment and vaccination. Firstly, we present a comprehensive review of M. tuberculosis and how the bacterium modulates the host immune system. We find that current work suggest great promise of NP based immunotherapeutics as novel treatments and vaccination systems. There is need to intensify research efforts in this field, and rationally design novel NP immunotherapeutics based on current knowledge of the mycobacteriology and immune escape mechanisms employed by M. tuberculosis.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis; immunotherapeutic nanoparticles; immunotherapy for tuberculosis; nanoparticle based host directed therapy; nanoparticles and vaccination


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