ACEN Ester Lilian (Ms) | Effect of vitamin D binding protein gene polymorphisms and vitamin D bioavailability on cathelicidin expression in tuberculosis infection and disease

ACEN Ester Lilian explored the in- volvement of vitamin D pathway in the immune system. The reason for the set back of TB elimination is the latent TB infection individuals that create a large pool who may convert to active TB disease when immune- system is compromised. The study assessed how the vitamin D bind- ing protein gene controls vitamin D levels which in turn regulate the expression of an antimicrobial pep- tide molecule cathelicidin (LL-37), responsible for killing pathogens including Mycobacterium Tuber- culosis. This peptide may be used as a biomarker for diagnosing the latent and the active individuals. High levels cathelicidin levels were found among the active TB patients compared to the latent and those with no TB infection. High hypovita- minosis D was found in the Ugandan population with and without TB. The study was funded by MAPRONANO and HEPI; and was supervised by Prof William Worodria, Prof. Irene Andia Biraro, Dr. David Patrick Ka- teete and Prof Moses Joloba.