Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium which usually affects the lungs. When a person with TB coughs, sneezes or spits, TB bacteria can be passed on to others via the air. With around 1,5 million deaths a year, TB is the world’s deadliest infectious disease. More than 95% of TB cases and deaths occur in developing countries. People with a compromised immune system, like people with HIV, diabetes or suffering from malnutrition, have 20 to 30 % higher chance of developing the diseases. Increasing resistance against current medication is a huge problem in the fight against TB.
ITM’s research on TB is world-renowned. The Institute has the largest public collection of TB strains for research; it caused a breakthrough with a shorter combination treatment for resistant tuberculosis and researches new diagnostics and case detection techniques.