Dr Lydia Mosi

Dr Lydia Mosi (University of Ghana)

Research title: Identification of specific metabolites in Mycobacterium ulcerans infection: exploring potential diagnositic biomarkers

Research project: Development of diagnostic tests for the rapid detection of M. ulcerans infection has been one of the major focus areas of the WHO Buruli ulcer consortium. The limitation caused by the slow growth rate and unavailability of bacterial antibodies have greatly hindered the rate at which diagnosis is made. The lack of adequate epidemiological and pre-clinical stage data on the disease also compounds the lag on efforts made by researches to date. In addition to this, not much work has been done on identifying markers that can be useful in determining disease prognosis during the prolonged chemotherapeutic duration. I am interested in applying metabolomics to identify metabolic markers that may detect or elucidate different stages of infection of the mycobacterium and also help in the identification of potential targets for the development of a diagnostic test. I believe that this cutting edge technique can be applied excellently to help address the short comings of early diagnosis currently experienced in the Buruli ulcer field as described above. The study aims to characterize the metabolome of M. ulcerans with respect to other mycolactone producing mycobacteria and pathogenic environmental mycobacteria. The specifc objectives are:
1. To characterize the protein and lipid metabolomes of select mycobacterial species including M. ulcerans and other mycolactone producing mycobacteria.
2. To identify key M. ulcerans metabolic markers that can be found only in Buruli ulcer patients.

Collaborator: Dr Jules Griffin, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge

See Lydia's Research Profile and Articles on the Conversation here: