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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015, Article ID 409596, 10 pages
Review Article

Lactoferrin: A Modulator for Immunity against Tuberculosis Related Granulomatous Pathology

1UTHealth, Department of Pathology, University of Texas-Houston Medical School, Houston, TX 77030, USA
2Program in Immunology, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Received 8 October 2015; Accepted 30 November 2015

Academic Editor: Magdalena Klink

Copyright © 2015 Jeffrey K. Actor. 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.


There is great need for a therapeutic that would limit tuberculosis related pathology and thus curtail spread of disease between individuals by establishing a “firebreak” to slow transmission. A promising avenue to increase current therapeutic efficacy may be through incorporation of adjunct components that slow or stop development of aggressive destructive pulmonary pathology. Lactoferrin, an iron-binding glycoprotein found in mucosal secretions and granules of neutrophils, is just such a potential adjunct therapeutic agent. The focus of this review is to explore the utility of lactoferrin to serve as a therapeutic tool to investigate “disruption” of the mycobacterial granuloma. Proposed concepts for mechanisms underlying lactoferrin efficacy to control immunopathology are supported by data generated based on in vivo models using nonpathogenic trehalose 6,6′-dimycolate (TDM, cord factor).