New Strategy for Preventing Tuberculosis

New Strategy for Preventing Tuberculosis

Despite decades of research, highly effective vaccines against infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB), still aren’t available. Some studies suggest that antibody-based immune responses, coupled with cell-based immunity (i.e., resulting from activation of immune-system cells such as lymphocytes), might work together against Mtb infection.

In a study published online on September 21 in JCI Insights, Jacqueline Achkar, M.D., M.S., Yanyan Liu, Ph.D., and colleagues showed that a human monoclonal antibody (mAb) against an Mtb surface polysaccharide provides protection against Mtb infection both in cell cultures and in a humanized mouse model of tuberculosis. The mAb, called P1AM25, protects against Mtb by targeting arabinomannan (a glycan on the bacterium’s surface that functions as an epitope i.e., antibodies recognize it) and by binding with Fc gamma receptors on immune cells. The finding suggests a new strategy for Mtb vaccine development that combines antibody–epitope specificity with the Fc gamma receptor-mediated immune response.

Dr. Achkar is professor of medicine and of microbiology & immunology, co-director of the Global Health Center, and associate director for translational research at the Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) at Einstein, and an attending physician at Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Liu, first author on the paper, is a recent graduate of Einstein and worked in the laboratory of Dr. Achkar.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine has intellectual property protection for a portfolio of Dr. Achkar’s technologies related to novel monoclonal antibodies against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is actively seeking licensing partners to further develop and commercialize them. Interested parties can contact the Office of Biotechnology and Business Development at

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