Academy of Finland  
Funding decision
Applicant / Contact person Parikka, Mataleena
Organisation Tampere University
Project title Mycobacterial community lifestyle as a source of phenotypic tolerance
Decision No. 326674
Decision date 30.05.2018
Funding period 01.01.2019 - 31.08.2022
Funding 228 700
Project description
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is the deadliest bacterial pathogen of mankind, responsible for 1,5 million deaths every year. Understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying the tuberculosis disease is critical for the development of more effective vaccine and drugs. The mechanisms how Mtb lives inside immune cells have been widely studied, but it is known that it can also adopt a poorly known extracellular lifestyle. We use a zebrafish tuberculosis model to study if extracellular mycobacteria form organized, biofilm-like communities during infection. We characterize how community-lifestyle benefits the bacteria during infection. The main goal of the project is to determine if drug-tolerant forms of mycobacteria develop in these communities in chronic infection. Understanding of the different lifestyles of mycobacteria will enable development of more effective treatments against TB.