Tuberculosis (TB) killed over 500,000 women in 2015, the majority between the ages of 15 and 45. Almost 70% of the 800,000 incident cases of active TB among Indian women occurred during their reproductive years. Each year, over 200,000 pregnant and postpartum women worldwide develop active TB, which continues to be a major cause of maternal mortality in endemic countries, such as India. Understanding the immunologic mechanisms by which pregnancy increases the risk of developing active TB has important implications for disease prevention strategies for pregnant women and their children.
With her recent award of a NIH K23 grant, Dr. Mathad will now specifically define the impact of pregnancy on the response to M. tuberculosis by comparing the immune response in pregnant women versus non-pregnant controls. She will also identify specific immune changes in pregnancy that correlate with the development of active postpartum TB in HIV-infected pregnant women.Dr. Jyoti Mathad is an Infectious Diseases-trained physician-scientist with a longstanding commitment to patient-oriented research in resource-limited countries. She has spent the past five years conducting research in India, where she helped establish a cohort of pregnant women, developed strong scientific collaborations with Indian scientists, and has trained an Indian research team. Dr. Mathad has documented that IFN-g production in response to M. tuberculosis antigens is suppressed in a subpopulation of 3rd trimester pregnant women in India.
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