Group | Clinical TB Research

Despite progress in the fight against tuberculosis (TB), TB remains a major global health problem. Innovative, high-quality research is needed to combat this poverty-related disease, which primarily affects the most vulnerable.

The mission of our Clinical TB Research Group is to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB and its comorbidities especially in high-burden countries. Our portfolio includes clinical trials, intervention studies, translational research and epidemiological studies.

Lines of research

The focus of our research activities is on the following areas:

  • Community-based active case finding strategies for TB
  • Clinical evaluation of new tools against TB with emphasis on diagnostics and biomarkers
  • Host-directed therapies for TB
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • TB comorbidities




TB Triage+ Community-based tuberculosis triage testing for hard-to-reach populations in Southern Africa

Tuberculosis is a poverty-related disease which particularly affects vulnerable and underserved populations. WHO has developed target product profiles for community-based TB triage testing. CAD4TB, an extensively validated digital chest x-ray analysis platform using deep-learning technology, and a blood test for C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation or infection, are two very promising diagnostic tools which have the potential to meet the targets for TB triage. Read more

MistraL - Mitigation strategies for communities with COVID-19 transmission in Lesotho using artificial intelligence on chest x-rays and novel rapid diagnostic tests

For mitigation strategies to be effective and efficient against COVID-19, they must be context-specific and take local conditions into account. In low- and lower-middle-income countries, limited resources and fragile healthcare systems often dictate what is feasible. In this project, researchers combine artificial intelligence, portable chest X-ray machines and antigen-based diagnostic tests to enable and improve diagnosis of COVID-19 patients in settings with limited resources. Read more

TB-CAPT - Facilitating implementation of TB testing

TB-CAPT (Close the gap, increase Access, Provide adequate Therapy) will provide evidence for impactful implementation of tuberculosis (TB) and TB/HIV co-infection diagnostic strategies including drug-susceptibility testing through a series of trials in Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa. TB-CAPT is funded by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) and will run for 3.5 years, with planned completion in 2023. Read more

Vanobberghen F et al. Computer-aided detection thresholds for digital chest radiography interpretation in tuberculosis diagnostic algorithms. ERJ Open Res. 2024;10. DOI: 10.1183/23120541.00508-2023

Brunner N.C et al. Starting at the community: treatment-seeking pathways of children with suspected severe malaria in Uganda. PLOS Glob Public Health. 2023;3(7):e0001949. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgph.0001949

Gils T et al. Implementation of the advanced HIV disease care package with point-of-care CD4 testing during tuberculosis case finding: a mixed-methods evaluation. PLoS One. 2023;18(12):e0296197. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0296197

Glaser N et al. Incidental radiological findings during clinical tuberculosis screening in Lesotho and South Africa: a case series. J Med Case Rep. 2023;17(1):365. DOI: 10.1186/s13256-023-04097-4

Hetzel M.W et al. Pre-referral rectal artesunate: no cure for unhealthy systems. Lancet Infect Dis. 2023;23(6):e213-e217. DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(22)00762-9