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A new platform for fast molecular detection of MDR and XDR resistant strains of M. tuberculosis and of drug resistant malaria
Framework programme:
Project number:
EC contribution:
2,900,000 €
36 months
Focused Research Project
Starting date:
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Keywords: MDR-TB, XDR-TB, fast molecular diagnosis, biochips


Drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains are a threat to tuberculosis (TB) control worldwide as strains resistant to available anti-TB drugs have emerged. Drug-resistant (DR) TB and multidrug resistant (MDR) TB are manmade problems related to poor case management and quality of drugs. They require expensive chemotherapy and have an increased fatality rate.

The increasing threat of infections due to M. tuberculosis, including MDR-TB and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) infections, poses important questions that call for development of integrated tools for rapid diagnosis. In the specific case of TB, an integrated rapid diagnostic approach should be able to permit species identification, drug susceptibility testing and molecular typing.

Malaria, caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum, kills between 1.5 million and 3 million people each year. Deaths from malaria are increasing, especially in Africa, largely because of antimalarial drug resistance. A rapid diagnostic tool for drug resistance would be affordable within European healthcare systems and advantageous in countries where patients are treated in walk-in clinics with no follow-up. Diagnosis of drug susceptibility of the infecting patients at the same time as diagnosis of infection would allow selection of the most efficacious drug.

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