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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2011, Article ID 192630, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/192630
Review Article

The Impact of Transcriptomics on the Fight against Tuberculosis: Focus on Biomarkers, BCG Vaccination, and Immunotherapy

1The Centre for Tuberculosis Research, Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo (USP), Ribeirão Preto SP, Brazil
2Molecular Immunogenetics Group, Department of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, USP, 14040-900 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil
3Disciplines of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Department of Morphology, Faculty of Dentistry, USP, 14040-904 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

Received 12 September 2010; Accepted 16 November 2010

Academic Editor: Nicholas West

Copyright © 2011 Carlos Rodrigo Zárate-Bladés et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In 1882 Robert Koch identified Mycobacterium tuberculosis as the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), a disease as ancient as humanity. Although there has been more than 125 years of scientific effort aimed at understanding the disease, serious problems in TB persist that contribute to the estimated 1/3 of the world population infected with this pathogen. Nonetheless, during the first decade of the 21st century, there were new advances in the fight against TB. The development of high-throughput technologies is one of the major contributors to this advance, because it allows for a global vision of the biological phenomenon. This paper analyzes how transcriptomics are supporting the translation of basic research into therapies by resolving three key issues in the fight against TB: (a) the discovery of biomarkers, (b) the explanation of the variability of protection conferred by BCG vaccination, and (c) the development of new immunotherapeutic strategies to treat TB.