Physicians (Christoph Lange in the image) focus on tailored treatment regimens.© DZIF/Lange

Tuberculosis (TB) remains a prime global health threat: About nine million people contract TB every year; 1.5 million individuals die from the disease. The TB pathogen, the so-called tubercle bacillus, typically infects the lungs and spreads to other organs. The problem is compounded by HIV/TB co-infections and the emergence of multi-and extensively drug-resistant strains. These strains spread more and more particularly in Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan-Africa and Asia.

To control TB on the global level, DZIF scientists face several challenges: There is currently no vaccine that efficiently protects against pulmonary TB in adults; the arsenal of anti-TB drugs is limited and there are only few new drugs in industrial pipelines. Biomarkers to predict or monitor treatment success individually are virtually absent. Besides access to TB diagnostics is restricted in resource-poor-settings.

Main research

  • Epidemiology
    Tuberculosis epidemiology and spread in Germany and Africa measured by means of latest molecular diagnostic methods. Projects are focussing multi-resistant tuberculosis strains.
  • New drugs and regimens
    Determining the efficacy of new drugs.
  • Personalized medicine
    Development of biomarkers for personalised treatment of tuberculosis.


  • Molecular epidemiology
    Strain typing with classical tools and NGS (next generation sequencing) genome analysis.
    Contact: Stefan Niemann, Research Center Borstel
  • MycoDrugs & Trials
    Platform on which the efficacy of novel drugs can be studied and to create a rational selection of optimal drug combinations for human studies. It also supports international clinical activities.
    : Michael Hoelscher, TU München; Christoph Hölscher, Research Center Borstel
  • Clinical Tuberculosis Center
    The clinical tuberculosis center provides personnel and laboratory infrastructure for individualized TB therapies. Clinical counselling is provided, clinical courses are organized, national and international guidelines are developed. In the “Online Consilium” experts are available fort he approval of a tailored and efficient TB therapy.
  • Contact: Christoph Lange, Research Center Borstel
  • Eastern European Study Site (EEES)
    The EESS in Bukarest will be instrumental for the recuritment and follow-up of patients in diagnostic studies, the evaluation of novel drug regimen and projects in the area of personalized medicine.
    : Christoph Lange, Research Center Borstel; Michael Hoelscher, TU München

Focus Sites




Interview with Stefan Ehlers, TTU "Tuberculosis" [in German]

Stefan Niemann, Research Center Borstel

Christoph Lange, Research Center Borstel
Michael Hoelscher, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität & Klinikum der Universität München
Ulrich Schaible, Research Center Borstel

Project manager
Christiane Gerlach


Current Publication


Annual Report 2015


Hotline for physicians
Twenty-four-seven tuberculosis experts answer your questions concerning prevention, diagnostics and therapy.

PHONE: 04537/1880