Research Challenges

The primary objective of the Microbiology Component of the TBRU is to investigate microbial factors expressed during various stages of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and illness in order to identify surrogate markers to help follow the progress of disease or treatment.

Organization and Operation

Microbiologic studies are initiated primarily at CWRU under the direction of Dr. Henry Boom, together with Dr. Kathleen Eisenach at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, as well as with additional TBRU investigators. Pilot studies are also accomplished at the sites of clinical trials with technology transfer to improve the services of the microbiology laboratories at these sites. Specific studies with focused microbiologic research are listed below.

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Protocol Number

Study Title

Short Study Title

Project Site


DMID 01-005

Kawempe Community Health Study




DMID 08-0023

A Pilot Study to Evaluate Nucleic Acid Amplification and Other Tests to Monitor the Effectiveness of Tuberculosis Treatment





Pilot Study to Assess Immunologic and Microbiologic Predictors of Response to Short Course Anti-TB Treatment in HIV-non-infected Adults with Initial Episodes of Smear Positive Pulmonary Tuberculosis





Pilot Study of the Utility of New Surrogate Microbial Markers to Assess in vivo Antimicrobial Activity in HIV-non-infected Adults with Pulmonary Tuberculosis Receiving Standard Drug Therapy


Kampala, Uganda;
Vitoria, Brazil;
New York, New York, USA;
Miami, Florida, USA;


Laboratory Sites

Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) Mycobacteriology Laboratory & Wandegeya National Laboratory-Uganda

In Kampala, the laboratory at the Joint Clinical Research Centre is a full service TB laboratory that provides microbiologic diagnostic services (including AFB smear microscopy, culture, and drug susceptibility testing) and participates in studies to evaluate the field and laboratory performance of new diagnostics appropriate for use in Uganda. Routine and specialized lab procedures, including QC/QA, are carried out in support of TBRU studies. The laboratory has two MIGIT systems to more quickly and accurately determine drug resistance qualities of mycobacterial patient specimens. The laboratory also assists the TBRU Specimen Repository in processing, storage and shipment of specimens needed at international sites to complete approved TBRU studies. The on-site Scientific Director is Dr. Moses Joloba.

The TBRU also utilizes the central reference laboratory (Wandegeya) of the Uganda National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme (NTLP) for initial microbiologic diagnostic services for all patient-related activities. The TBRU works closely with the NTLP to assist in their efforts to advance services through increased training opportunities and improved laboratory operations.