Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. These bacteria infect about one-third of the world's population, but only an estimated 5%-10% of infected people will develop the active form of tuberculosis in their lifetime. The other 90%-95% of people appear to be able to contain the infection in a dormant/latent state, so that they do not become ill. Because tuberculosis is so prevalent, an estimated eight million people develop active tuberculosis each year, of which 2 million to 3 million die.
The Centre includes 24 investigators, 20 full members and 4 associate members, with expertise in immunology, genetics, genomics, biochemistry, molecular biology and parasitology, and numerous graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
Host resistance is a field of study that seeks to explain the diverse nature of resistance to disease. This is a real challenge, because so many diseases like asthma, infectious diseases and cancer, are chronic conditions where multiple genes interact with each other and with environmental factors. Only by dissecting a disease into its discrete stages can the entire host response be understood. Establishment of the genetic control and biological functions at each stage of disease also makes opportunities for disease intervention.