Hacking into the granuloma: could antibody antibiotic conjugates be developed for TB?

Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2014 Dec;94(6):715-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tube.2014.08.009. Epub 2014 Sep 23.


Alternatives to small molecule or vaccine approaches to treating tuberculosis are rarely discussed. Attacking Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the granuloma represents a challenge. It is proposed that the conjugation of small molecules onto a monoclonal antibody that recognizes macrophage or lymphocytes cell surface receptors, might be a way to target the bacteria in the granuloma. This antibody drug conjugate approach is currently being used in 2 FDA approved targeted cancer therapies. The pros and cons of this proposal for further research are discussed.

Keywords: Antibody antibiotic conjugate; Granuloma; Lymphocytes; Macrophages.

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotics, Antitubercular / administration & dosage*
  • Antibiotics, Antitubercular / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Biomedical Research / methods
  • Granuloma / drug therapy*
  • Granuloma / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Immunoconjugates / administration & dosage*
  • Immunoconjugates / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / immunology
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy*
  • Tuberculosis / immunology


  • Antibiotics, Antitubercular
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunoconjugates
  • Receptors, Cell Surface