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Mycobacterium tuberculosis W-Beijing genetic diversity and differential virulence and immune responses
Framework programme:
Project number:
EC contribution:
2,900,000 €
36 months
Funding scheme :
Focused Research Project
Starting date:

Keywords: Tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, W/Beijing, virulence


The predominance of the W-Beijing lineage of tubercle bacilli (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) probably results from genetic advantages, including unidentified virulence factors and the induction or modification of specific host cell responses not yet thoroughly investigated.

Improvements in tuberculosis (TB) control require the development of new tools for rapid and accurate diagnosis and intervention. This development is likely to benefit from more detailed knowledge of microbe-host relationships during infection. Following M. tuberculosis infection, only 5% to 10% of immunocompetent individuals develop TB. It is increasingly believed that the virulence of the infecting strain, together with host genetic factors, contributes to such differences between infected individuals.

The M. tuberculosis W-Beijing lineage is one of the most successful mycobacterial families in terms of morbidity and mortality. This lineage has been detected almost worldwide.

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