Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is spread when people who are sick with TB expel bacteria into the air (e.g. by coughing). The disease typically affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can affect other sites. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable. [Source: WHO]

EDCTP portfolio: Tuberculosis

Collaborative clinical trials and clinical research (2014-2021)

In its strategic business plan for 2014-2024, EDCTP has identified important areas of unmet medical need for each of its target disease areas as well as for research capacity development. Important goals for TB research include:

  • Find new approaches for early diagnosis of active TB
  • Shorten the duration of therapy, where appropriate
  • Improve treatment for both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB, which will prevent relapse, reduce the emergence of drug resistance, and prevent long-term lung damage and latent TB infection progressing to active TB.

Ultimately, TB control will require affordable, short, effective and well-tolerated treatments for all forms of TB (i.e., latent TB infection, drug-susceptible and drug-resistant TB disease), point-of-care diagnostic tests able to characterise drug resistance, and an effective vaccine.

The EDCTP portfolio on TB has a strong focus on diagnostics, although multiple projects are addressing TB treatments. Several major vaccine development projects are also being supported.

Important goals are to improve methods of TB detection and monitoring of response to therapy, and to shorten the duration of treatment.