Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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LANL scientist co-edits book on mycobacterial diseases

These bacterial pathogens cause a wide range of illness in humans and other animals.

Harshini Mukundan in front of the optical biosensor that her team has been developing to detect tuberculosis and other diseases.

Harshini Mukundan in front of the optical biosensor that her team has been developing to detect tuberculosis and other diseases.

Harshini Mukundan is the co-editor of a book on mycobacterial diseases that was released in November 2015. These bacterial pathogens cause a wide range of illness in humans and other animals. Tuberculosis is probably the disease widest spread by a mycobacterial pathogen and is responsible for nearly 1.5 million human deaths each year, which makes the topic of great interest for those involved in international health. The book describes recent research in the most important and widely researched groups of mycobacteria, including members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, which causes tuberculosis, and Mycobacterium leprae, which causes leprosy.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis, is of particular concern as the pathogen has been shown to exhibit increasing drug resistance especially in the context of co-infection with HIV. A complicating factor

in controlling mycobacterial infection in humans is possible cross-infection of Mycobacterial bovis from badgers and cattle. This book provides a reference for researchers working in different fields that have an interest in these diseases. It draws together information on different pathogens, and by considering the diseases in a zoonotic context provides a One Health approach to these important groups of diseases. By comparing the research being done on mycobacteria in various animal species and models of infection, one can likely minimize redundancy and derive useful information to prevent further infection.

Harshini Mukundan has been researching tuberculosis and other diseases since she came to the Laboratory in 2006, and has focused on techniques for the early diagnosis of active tuberculosis infection in humans and cattle using a waveguide based optical biosensor and novel assay methods. Mukundan was also a co-organizer of an international workshop on tuberculosis that took place in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2010. She has published extensively on tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.

Other editors of the book are Mark Chambers of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratory Agencies, UK; Ray Waters of the USDA; and, Michelle Larsen of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The book was published by CABI and is available from Amazon.

Tuberculosis, leporsy and mycobacterial diseases of man and animals - book jacket from the monograph
The book jacket from the monograph

Biosensor Team website

11/5/15


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