Our group is focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, a disease that has seen an unprecedented resurgence in resource poor countries affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
To date most clinical laboratories are restricted to microscopy of stained sputum smears as well as solid or liquid culture to establish the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis. These methods are dated, labor intensive, time consuming, and have unsatisfactory sensitivity and specificity.
Treatment with the standardized drug regimen currently in use was not improved in more than 30 years. It requires daily medication for at least 6 months. There is increasing resistance to those drugs resulting in the necessity of prolonged treatment with weak and toxic drugs. Even virtually untreatable cases with resistance to all conventional drugs have been reported.
There is an urgent need for fast, sensitive and specific diagnostic tools and for short, safe and efficacious antituberculosis regimens to overcome resistance.
In collaboration with various partners we evaluate novel diagnostic tools and novel antituberculosis drugs and regimens. Our goal is to combat and eventually eliminate tuberculosis.