Unit | Tuberculosis Research

TB Research in the BSL3-Laboratory at Swiss TPH

The TB Research Unit conducts fundamental and translational research, focusing on the biology, immunology and genomic epidemiology of TB. The unit comprises two research groups that interact on a regular basis: The TB Ecology and Evolution Group explores the nature, cause and consequence of the genetic diversity in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, particularly in the context of antibiotic resistance. This group combines experimental work in the laboratory and epidemiological investigation in the field with various population- and functional genomics approaches. The TB Immunology Group conducts in-depth clinical immunological studies to enhance our understanding of the host-pathogen interaction in TB, and for the development of novel diagnostics and host-directed interventions.


An important part of this work relies on our long-term partnerships with collaborators in TB-endemic countries. These include the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Ghana, and the National Centre for Tuberculosis and Lung Disease in Georgia.

Cox H et al. Whole genome sequencing has the potential to improve treatment for rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis in high burden settings: a retrospective cohort study. J Clin Microbiol. 2022;60(3):e0236221. DOI: 10.1128/jcm.02362-21

Hiza H et al. CD38 expression by antigen-specific CD4 t cells is significantly restored 5 months after treatment initiation independently of sputum bacterial load at the time of tuberculosis diagnosis. Front Med. 2022;9:821776. DOI: 10.3389/fmed.2022.821776

Maghradze N et al. Developing customized stepwise MIRU-VNTR typing for tuberculosis surveillance in Georgia. PLoS One. 2022;17(3):e0264472. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0264472

Merker M et al. Transcontinental spread and evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis W148 European/Russian clade toward extensively drug resistant tuberculosis. Nat Commun. 2022;13:5105. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-32455-1

Vaezipour N et al. Towards accurate point-of-care tests for tuberculosis in children. Pathogens. 2022;11(3):327. DOI: 10.3390/pathogens11030327