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.