Research in CIIDRET is broadly focused on Infectious disease diagnosis, development of Antibody based therapeutic and understanding pathogen biology in greater details.
Infectious Disease Diagnostics
In the field of Diagnosis, researchers at CIIDRET are working to develop a method for faster Drug resistance detection that is based on targeted Next-generation sequencing of DR associated loci.
Work is also in progress in development of an antibody-based naked eye Heme-agglutination based test for Point of care detection of COVID-19. The research is based on the development of anti-RBC antibodies that are attached with immunogenic epitopes of Spike protein of COVID-19 virus. The engineered antibody will be expressed in E. coli or Animal cell.
In past, diagnostic kits for HIV-AIDS, and M. tuberculosis were developed, licensed to industry partners and marketed. The kits have been applauded nationally and internationally by many research and development agencies.
Antibody based Therapeutics
CIIDRET has developed an ultra-large phage-displayed human antibody (scFv) library comprising of 10 billion clones. This library has been successfully used for selecting binders to a clinically important human target protein. This library is now being included in a Mission project on snakebite treatment by Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India.
Work is being done to fish out useful therapeutic antibodies against SARS-COV-2 and Snake Venom to from ultra-large phage-displayed human antibody (scFv) library.
Pathogen i.e. viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites enters in host body and multiply or colonize our skin or mucosal surfaces which leads to a condition referred as infectious disease. These pathogens opts various routes of transmission, for example through inhalation of aerosol droplets, intimate contact with infected hosts, consumption of contaminated food or the bites of disease-transmitting vectors such as mosquitoes or ticks. During the long term interaction between host and pathogen, these infectious agents evolved with sophisticated molecular mechanism to successfully infect their hosts, to inhabit specific parts of our bodies, to tolerate or evade our immune defense mechanisms or to secure their transmission from one host to the next. Therefore, it is an essential need for Infection biologists to design and deploy a large number of different experimental approaches to elucidate the functional and mechanistic basis of such pathogen- and host-specific biology. This will open up new avenues for the development of new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines.
Toxin antitoxin (TA) modules of M. tuberculosis have been shown to be involved in bacterial stress adaptation, persister formation, and virulence. These modules function like operons consisting of 2 genes: one coding for a stable toxin and the other for its labile cognate antitoxin. Upon exposure of bacteria to stress conditions similar to those encountered by the pathogen inside the human host, these TA modules are upregulated and modulate dormancy and persistence. The toxin component of TA modules generally inhibits bacterial growth in a bacteriostatic manner by inhibiting an essential cellular function. The antitoxin component of the TA operon neutralizes the activity of this toxin. Growth inhibition caused by Toxins is reversible and it facilitates the survival of bacteria in stressful conditions. Work is being done to understand the role of these modules in clinical M. tuberculosis strains of various that are found to be drug resistant. This will shed light on mechanisms involved in drug resistance manifestation and it will give us leads to kill DR strains.