Case Western Reserve University Tuberculosis Research Unit
  Integrating research to combat the global TB epidemic

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


Case control study

Project Site

Western Cape, South Africa

Sample Size

total 300 subjects


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


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
Research Activities: