Tuberculosis research studies are designed to answer important questions and to find out whether new approaches are safe and effective. Tuberculosis research already has led many advances, and researchers continue to search for more effective methods for dealing with tuberculosis. There are several current areas of focus for tuberculosis research, including: Diagnostics, treatment and vaccines.

Current Projects

Validation and Integration of a new In-vitro Diagnostic test, the IFN-γ Release Immuno-Suspension Assay (IRISA) to improve diagnosis of Tuberculosis Meningitis – A multi-country study

To validate the novel in-vitro diagnostic(IVD) test for TB meningitis and determine its placement in a rapid diagnostic algorithm thereby increasing prospects for commercialisation.

Scientific objectives

  1. To determine the critical test cut-off value of gamma interferon levels in CSF for the diagnosis of TB meningitis in adults and children.
  2. To assess the sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA test for TB meningitis in adults and children.
  3. To convert the IVD test kit from being an innovative research product to a commercial kit.

Integrated Alcohol and Smoking Behavioural Interventions with TB Care for Improved TB Treatment outcomes in Zimbabwe

This 3,800 patient randomized controlled trial evaluates a low-cost behavioural intervention designed to aid smoking cessation and reductions in alcohol consumption among TB patients. The study will provide causal evidence on the impact of integrating such care on TB health outcomes, and aims to provide a scalable way to improve TB outcomes, while also ensuring that health services adhere with WHO guidelines. 

The main research question this proposal addresses is:

Does the integration of behavioural interventions designed to reduce tobacco and harmful use of alcohol into tuberculosis (TB) care improve TB health outcomes, compared to those who received no intervention?

Past Projects

Detect TB

A Cluster randomized trial of two intensified TB case finding strategies in an urban community severely affected by HIV. The study was being conducted in the western part of Harare with the aim of: Providing an extra services to pick up infectious TB more quickly, aiming to reduce the spread of infection (“enhanced TB case-finding”). Improving control of TB in the selected neighbourhood and if successful, reduce the risk of becoming infected with TB Models of TB infection and disease in high HIV prevalence communities will be developed.

Zimbabwe National TB Prevalence Survey

To determine the national prevalence of bacteriologically confirmed pulmonary TB in Zimbabwean population aged ≥15years within the period 2013/ 2014

Specific Survey Objectives:

1. To establish the prevalence of bacteriologically confirmed pulmonary TB in the target population.

2. To determine the prevalence of smear positive, culture positive TB.

3. To determine the prevalence symptoms of TB.

Transmission and Pathogenesis of MDR-TB

Between 2000 and 2006, the estimated global incidence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) nearly doubled, and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB) was newly verified in 49 countries. In most settings, patients with drug resistant TB are routinely identified only after multiple failed treatment attempts, leading to mortality exceeding 90% among HIV co-infected patients and the potential for ongoing community transmission. the proposed study seeks to reduce the burden of drug resistant TB by improving early