Tuberculosis research (tbc)


Tuberculosis research at LUMC aims to resolve the huge need for better vaccines, biomarkers and diagnostic tests for tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis (TB) remains an enormous problem worldwide.  TB  is the leading cause of death among all infectious diseases.  One third to one fourth of the world population is infected with M. tuberculosis, every year almost 10 million new cases of active tuberculosis (TB) occur, and 1.8 million people die from TB.  Next to these already daunting numbers, there is the increasing threat of anti-microbial resistance: multi-drug and extensively drug-resistant bacterial strains are rapidly emerging, making treatment difficult and sometimes impossible.  Additional problems are the often fatal course of TB in AIDS patients in developing countries (a high proportion of AIDS victims dies from TB); the increasing spread of TB due to migration from TB endemic areas to low endemic countries such as the EU; and the rising co-epidemic of type 2 diabetes and obesity, which makes people three times more susceptible to TB. Thus, the importance of researching TB in order to develop better tools to control this killer is obvious, also for the Netherlands with its low TB-incidence. 

The LUMC TB research group investigates the following key problems in TB:

  1. Developing better vaccines
  2. Identification of TB biomarkers
  3. Developing user and field friendly TB diagnostic tests
  4. Systems biology approaches in bacterial infections to define new antibiotics
  5. Diagnostics of latent TB in patients eligible for immunosuppression


TB research at LUMC is conducted in close cooperation with laboratories abroad and with hospitals and trial centers in various developing countries. Our research is sponsored, among others, by EU, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NWO, TTW, EDCTP, NIH.  Other work addresses Ebola infections and vaccine testing. 

Other work addresses Ebola infections and vaccine testing.

More information about Leprosy Research.

Members of the Department of Infectious Diseases’ TB research group are: Prof. dr. THM Ottenhoff (head Tuberculosis Research Group LUMC); Prof. dr. A Geluk; Dr. SA Joosten; Dr. SM Arend.

Key publications TB group