Microbiology and Immunology

Objectives of the Division

  1. To minimize the effect of infection on linear growth- Supportive nutritional intervention for all childhood infections during and after infection to replace losses incurred during infections should help to maintain growth.

  2. To explore the link between intrauterine infection and gene methylation and LBW-Epigenetics is both a heritable and reversible phenomenon, which controls the expression of our genome. These findings suggest a novel kind of transgenerational inheritance, apparently nongenetic in origin, termed transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Nutrition is one of the most important factors in the epigenetic repertoire, but there may be other factors such as intrauterine infections, which may play a role in genetic expression and birth weight and imprinting.

  3. To develop therapeutic diets for children with HIV infection for reducing mortality and improving lifestyle.

  4. Immunemodulation –Reduce Inflammation through pro/prebiotics to reduce obesity and associated complications

Research achievements

The division of Microbiology and Immunogy has been actively involved in research addressing problems related to Nutrition, Infection and Immunity; especially in children and women.

Various studies have been conducted, relating to

  1. Malnutrition and childhood TB

  2. Immune response in malnourished and anemic children

  3. Role of Vitamin A on cytokine responses(Th1 and Th2  immune response)

  4. RSV infection in children

  5. Safety of administering large dose vitamin A with OPV in children

  6. Immunodiagnostic kit for rapid detection of Str.agalactiae

Present Research Activities

  1. Effect of a probiotic preparation on local infection and immunity in women of reproductive age group.

  2. Effect of probiotics on growth and seasonal infections in children

  3. Role of probiotics on obesity

  4. Nutrition in children afflicted with HIV

  5. HIV and risk factors in high risk groups

  6. Immune enhancing or imunomodulatory effects of wheat grass (Triticum) and Tulasi (Ocimum)

  7. Immunotoxicity studies of new drugs or compounds developed indigenously

  8. Allergenicity potential of new compounds and Genetically Modified (GM) foods.

Thrust areas for future

  1. Effect of food supplementation during acute infection in children to reduce the prevalence of stunting and to improve growth

  2. Infection and gene methylation

  3. IgE epitope mapping to test allergenicity potential of GM foods

  4. Gut flora and its link with obesity and associated complications such as Type 2 Diabetes

  5. Genetic manipulation of lactobacilli for therapeutic use( for eg- antiviral effects)

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