The bacteria responsible for TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis kills approximately 1.6 million people each year globally.
In their study, on mice, Lina Daniel and collaborating authors showed for the first time that tuberculosis infection in the lungs leads to disruption of the normal organised structure and function in the lymph nodes draining the lung.
The restructuring of the lymph nodes due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis was driven by an accumulation of B cells. Ultimately, this restructuring led to reduced activation of T cells that protect against TB infection.
“This restructuring of the lymph node is another way that TB prevents the immune system from eradicating the infection,” said Lina Daniel.
The paper was published in the high-impact Journal of Clinical Investigation.