Research Studies


Principal Investigators
Research Partners
Researches Involved
  • Methodological approach: A longitudinal (prospective cohort) study was conducted at South African gold mines to identify miners who have been working in the mines for at least 15 years but have no evidence of TB infection and are HIV negative. Miners were screened for eligibility and chest radiographs were reviewed to exclude current or prior TB. Quantiferon test (QFT) and tuberculin skin test were done to exclude latent TB infection and HIV test was offered. We enrolled HIV-negative miners and collected blood for QFT, plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) processing, whole blood assay and Paxgene tubes for transcriptomics. The plasma, PBMCs and Paxgene blood tubes were collected and analyzed to identify gene profiles and immune responses associated with TB protection. Miners who were QFT negative and those who were infected with latent TB (QFT and TST positive) at enrolment were followed up 12 months post enrolment and all enrolment procedures were repeated. Embedded within the longitudinal study was a case control study to identify gene expression and immunological profiles associated with being TB-uninfected using the stored blood specimens.

    Key Findings: Still analysing and completing lab tests

    Outputs/Outcomes: This work offers innovative approaches to understanding the mechanisms that underlie resistance and susceptibility to Mtb infection in HIV uninfected individuals which may point to novel approaches to TB vaccine and therapeutic strategies that incorporate host-directed therapies (HDT) to subvert immune evasion by Mtb.

    Related resources: N/A

    Timeline: 2014 – 2018
    Research Partners: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, The Aurum Institute , University of Washington
    Locations: Gold mines, Orkney, North West