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NIAID Role in Addressing TB, Drug-Resistant TB, and TB in People With HIV/AIDS

NIAID funds and conducts biomedical research on TB. NIAID also collaborates with other U.S. government agencies and multilateral organizations worldwide to support public–private partnerships to benefit people who have TB, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB), and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR TB), including people who are co-infected with HIV.

Basic Research

NIAID supports basic research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of TB, and seeks to understand how the bacterium causes disease in humans. By developing animal models for TB, the Institute is accelerating efforts to evaluate candidate drugs and vaccines and to improve TB diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. NIAID also supports research to assess what factors influence the occurrence, distribution, and transmission of drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains of M. tuberculosis.

Drug Development and Clinical Evaluation

The emergence of MDR TB and, more recently, XDR TB has intensified the need for new TB drugs. Helping discover and develop those drugs is a top NIAID priority. The Institute supports research to elucidate the mechanisms of drug resistance, identify new TB drug targets and candidate drugs, and evaluate novel TB drugs and optimal drug combinations in preclinical and clinical studies.


NIAID supports the development of new and improved diagnostic tools to more accurately diagnose early TB disease, help optimize therapy by identifying drug-resistant strains, and track the spread of TB in a community. The Institute also encourages researchers to develop tools and identify biomarkers that allow clinicians to rapidly assess how people respond to therapy and to assist in conducting drug and vaccine clinical trials.

Vaccine Development and Clinical Testing

Comprehensive control strategies to eliminate TB as a public health threat require the development of a more effective vaccine. NIAID is providing support to help identify new candidate TB vaccines and immune-boosting vaccine adjuvants to prevent infection or disease and is evaluating the potential of synthetic vaccines to help shorten TB drug treatment regimens. NIAID funds vaccine development, including preclinical animal studies and clinical research on those candidate TB vaccines that appear most promising.

Improving Prevention and Treatment for People with TB and HIV/AIDS

With its international partners, NIAID is working to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of clinical interventions to prevent, diagnose, and treat all forms of TB in the setting of HIV co-infection. NIAID supports research on the interplay between M. tuberculosis and HIV and the complications of interactions between antiretroviral and antituberculosis drugs. It also funds studies in resource-limited settings that aim to better define the parameters of TB transmission and the emergence of TB drug resistance in people co-infected with HIV.


To increase the amount and successful outcome of TB research worldwide, NIAID supports basic and clinical research training with a focus on TB. Career development awards and international training programs in infectious diseases are supported by NIAID and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fogarty International Center in an effort to expand the future community of TB experts.


NIAID promotes the dissemination of TB-related information and research results to various audiences through the NIAID website, genomics and bioinformatics databases, and brochures and other materials for the public. These resources are designed to facilitate scientific discoveries that will ultimately reduce illness and death caused by TB as well as inform people about TB and NIAID’s role in TB research. NIAID also facilitates scientific meetings focused on TB research to encourage research collaboration and discussion among scientists in the field.


NIAID fosters and encourages innovative research collaborations among government and academic investigators, small and large businesses, non-profit organizations, and public–private partnerships. In addition to other Institutes at NIH, NIAID U.S. government partners include the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, United States Agency for International Development, Tuberculosis Control Assistance Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and member agencies the Federal TB Task Force. Other domestic partners include the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association and local and state TB programs. International partners include the World Health Organization, Stop TB Partnership, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, and other organizations promoting TB research and development.

Additional Information

Federal Websites

CDC Division of TB Elimination

John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

United States Agency for International Development

The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus

Non-Federal Websites

Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation

American Lung Association

American Thoracic Society

Global Alliance for TB Drug Development

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

National Tuberculosis Controllers Association

National Tuberculosis Curriculum Consortium

Stop TB Partnership

World Health Organization–Tuberculosis

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Last Updated May 17, 2007