Tuberculosis Research Units Network (TBRU-N)

First established in 1994, the Tuberculosis Research Units Network (TBRU-N) integrates scientific and clinical research disciplines to study aspects of human TB in endemic countries. The Network is comprised of four multi-project awards to study TB latency and persistence and their relation to active TB disease in humans.

Biomedical research in TB has led to an improved understanding of host/pathogen interactions, and many of these findings translated to a now sizeable pipeline of drug, vaccine and diagnostic candidates. However, a transformation in how this complex disease can be optimally managed continues to be hampered by a limited understanding of the stages of TB infection that precede active pulmonary disease (latency) or are implicated as the reason for prolonged antibiotic treatment (persistence). Latency and persistence are characterized by low levels of bacteria in secretions and likely other sites of infection (paucibacillary stages) which are inherently difficult to study and have also limited our understanding of their transition to active pulmonary or extra-pulmonary disease. 

Contact Information

Main Areas of Focus

  • To conduct research to address paucibacillary stages of TB through integration of human studies and animal models


  • Respiratory Diseases Branch (RDB), Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID)


  • Emory University
  • Boston Medical Center
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Weill Cornell Medical College
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