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Research groups

Elena Stylianou


Post-doctoral Research Assistant


My research focuses mainly on developing new vaccines against tuberculosis (TB). BCG is the only currently available vaccine which although ineffective at protecting against adult pulmonary disease, protects against childhood forms of TB. For this reason BCG will continue to be used and it is therefore important to identify a booster vaccine that will improve its protective efficacy.

Most of my work is based on two recombinant viral vectors, simian adenovirus and modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), as vaccines. I have been testing vaccination regimens that incorporate BCG into heterologous prime-boost strategies, and assessing their ability to induce responses thought to be relevant for protection. As a final step, these regimens are evaluated for their protective efficacy against a subsequent challenge with TB.

Moreover the viral vectors are used to screen a large number of tuberculosis antigens for their ability to induce cellular immune responses, but also the protection they confer against TB.

Key Publications

Cholera toxin enhances vaccine-induced protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis challenge in mice.Griffiths KL, Stylianou E, Poyntz HC, Betts GJ, Fletcher HA, McShane H. PLoS One. 2013 Oct 23;8(10):e78312. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078312. eCollection 2013.

Roles for Treg expansion and HMGB1 signaling through the TLR1-2-6 axis in determining the magnitude of the antigen-specific immune response to MVA85A.Matsumiya M, Stylianou E, Griffiths K, Lang Z, Meyer J, Harris SA, Rowland R, Minassian AM, Pathan AA, Fletcher H, McShane H. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 3;8(7):e67922. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067922. Print 2013.

Mycobacterial growth inhibition in murine splenocytes as a surrogate for protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb). Marsay L, Matsumiya M, Tanner R, Poyntz H, Griffiths KL, Stylianou E, Marsh PD, Williams A, Sharpe S, Fletcher H, McShane H. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2013 Sep;93(5):551-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2013 May 31.

Optimising immunogenicity with viral vectors: mixing MVA and HAdV-5 expressing the mycobacterial antigen Ag85A in a single injection. Betts G, Poyntz H, Stylianou E, Reyes-Sandoval A, Cottingham M, Hill A, McShane H. PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e50447. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050447. Epub 2012 Dec 21.