New networks and linkages

  • The Wits node is playing the leading role in an international collaboration between Wits University, the USA National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University of Leicester, the Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU) and the Aurum Institute. This new collaborative project is led by Dr. Bavesh Kana from the Wits node and involves the detection and characterization of non-replicating bacterial populations in the sputum of patients with active TB disease. The funding for the project was awarded in 2012 and Dr Kana was invited to the University of Leicester for collaborative discussions and to give a presentation of the research being conducted at the Wits node of the CBTBR.
  • Dr. Bhavna Gordhan from the Wits node is involved in a collaborative research project that falls under the auspices of the South African Tuberculosis Research and Innovation Initiative (SATRII), an initiative which encompasses all three nodes of the CBTBR. Dr. Gordhan has to date screened over 500 small compounded for anti-tubercular activity and has contributed to telephone conferences and face to face meetings on this collaborative project.
  • Dr. Bavesh Kana continues to collaborate with Dr. Lesley Scott and Professor Wendy Stevens from the Department of Molecular Medicine and Hematology at Wits University. Their partnership has allowed for the development of a robust external quality assurance system for rollout of the new GeneXpert TB diagnostic system in South Africa. The Wits node is playing a critical role in this venture which will help to bolster the national TB control program further testifying to the impact of the CBTBR on TB control in South Africa and internationally. There has been significant recent interest in this work by the WHO, PATH, FIND and other key stakeholders involved in TB control.
  • Further collaborative links at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Hematology at Wits University, through the Wits of the CBTBR includes collaboration with Dr. Melinda Suchard on characterization of the immune response in humans when challenged with mutant mycobacterial strains, defective in cell wall remodeling. Dr Suchard and Dr Kana are currently co-supervising a MMed student working on this project.
  • The Mycobacterial Referral Laboratory at the National Health Laboratory Service (Johannesburg, Central branch) currently collaborates with the Wits node on a project aimed at the characterization of discordant rifampicin resistant mutants in the Gauteng region. The strains selected for this study would comprise those samples that give inconsistent phenotypic resistance data when compared to the rifampicin resistance genotype provided by the line probe assay. The project represents an important partnership between the CBTBR and the national diagnostic platform for TB in South Africa.
  • Dr Melissa Chengalroyen from the Wits node spent two weeks at the SU node to obtain training on DNA fingerprinting methodologies to distinguish M. tuberculosis strains. Dr Chengalroyen has now established the relevant methods at the Wits node and continues to work with Dr Streicher at the SU node on interpretation of the data.
  • Dr. Monique Williams from the SU node and Prof Valerie Mizrahi (UCT node) is collaborating with Dr. Bavesh Kana and Ms. Nicole Narrandes at the Wits node on a project aimed further understanding the biosynthetic pathway for molybdopterin cofactor (MoCo) biosynthesis. This is a collaborative project that also involves Dr. Gilla Kaplan from the Public Health Research Institute in the USA. Dr. Williams was awarded a CU-SA Fogarty Fellowship to train in Dr. Kaplan’s laboratory in 2012. Also in 2012, Dr Williams spent three weeks at the Wits node to conduct lipid analyses on mycobacterial strains.

Existing networks and linkages
The three nodes of the CBTBR are involved in wide collaborative networks that involve TB researchers and research institutions in a large number of countries. Maintaining existing collaborative networks and developing new linkages is of critical importance to the CBTBR. For this reason, members continued to devote significant time and effort to networking.


Dr. William Mac Kenzie

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA

Collaboration on the detection and characterization of Rpf-dependent bacterial populations in sputum. Project funded by the NIH.

Prof. Michael Barer and Dr. Galina Mukamolova

University of Leicester, UK

Collaboration on the detection and characterization of Rpf-dependent bacterial populations in sputum. Project funded by the NIH

Dr. Gavin Churchyard

The Aurum Institute

Collaboration on the detection and characterization of Rpf-dependent bacterial populations in sputum. Project funded by the NIH. The Wits node also collaborating with Dr. Churchyard on several other ventures under the auspices of the Wits-Aurum Coalition.

Prof. Gilla Kaplan and Dr. Dorothy Fallows

Public Health Research Institute, International Center for Public Health, Newark, NJ

Prof. Kaplan serves as the international member on the Board of the CBTBR. She and Dr. Kana serve on the CU-SA Fogarty AITRP Advisory Board. Dr. Kana collaborates with Dr. Kaplan and Dr. Fallows on an NIH funded project to study hetero-resistance in TB patients with active disease. Ongoing collaboration on mouse phenotyping of mutant strains

Prof. Lesley Scott

University of the Witwatersrand

Ongoing collaboration on the rollout of the GeneXpert diagnostic test and establishment of an external quality assurance system.

Dr. Melinda Suchard

University of the Witwatersrand

Ongoing collaboration of immunological characterization of mutants defective for cell wall turnover/remodeling

Dr. Chris Edlin

iThemba Pharmaceuticals

Ongoing collaboration on SATRII initiative for TB drug discovery

Prof. Mary Gulumian

National Institute of Occupational Health

New collaboration on the study of DNA repair in mycobacteria

Prof. Jim Phillips

National Institute of Occupational Health

New collaboration on the further understanding cell wall metabolism in mycobacteria

Prof. John D. McKinney

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL),  Switzerland

Collaboration on the mechanisms of propionate catabolism, funded by a grant from Swiss/ SA Joint Research Programme.

Dr. Clifton E. Barry III and Dr. Helena Boshoff

Tuberculosis Research Section, Laboratory of Host Defenses, National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, NIH, MD

Ongoing collaboration on the IMTB project, and new collaboration on the HIT-TB and SATRII projects

Prof. Česlovas Venclovas

Institute of Biotechnology, Vilnius, Lithuania

Ongoing collaboration on the structure and function of a novel mutagenic complex in mycobacteria.

Dr. Tom Ioerger & Prof. Jim Sacchettini

Biochemistry & Biophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

 Collaborating on whole-genome sequence analysis of strains of M. tuberculosis.

Prof. Sir Tom Blundell and Prof. Chris Abell

Cambridge University, UK

Collaborating members of the HIT-TB and MM4TB Consortia

Prof. Chris Sassetti

University of Massachusetts, USA

Collaboration on carbon metabolism in M. tuberculosis.

Prof. Stewart Cole & Dr. Ruben Haartkoorn

EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland

MM4TB Consortium

Prof. Jonathan Blackburn


Collaboration on lipidomic and proteimic analyses of M. tuberculosis strains

Prof. Kelly Chibale

H3-D Drug Discovery Centre, UCT

Oollaboration on SATRII and H3-D TB drug discovery projects

A/Prof. Nicola Mulder


Oollaboration on bioinformatic analysis of mycobacterial genomes

Prof. Robert Wilkinson


Co-applicant on several new grant applications

Prof. Robert Doyle

Syracuse University

New collaboration on vitamin B12 biosynthesis

Prof. David Russell

Cornell University

New collaboration on vitamin B12 transport and metabolism

Dr. S. Sampson

Imperial College, UK

The evolution and function of the PE and PPE gene families (2001-present) & the ESAT-6 secretion system interactome (2007- present).

Dr. H. Mardassi, Mr. A. Karboul and Mr. A. Namouchi

Institut Pasteur, Tunisia

Characterization of M. tuberculosis lineages through the PE/PPE gene family (2002 - present)

Dr. W. Bitter and Mr A. Abdallah

Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The trafficking of the M. tuberculosis PE and PPE proteins (2006 – present).

Dr. John Ho

Cornell University, New York, USA

Characterization of M. tuberculosis lineages through the PE/PPE gene family (2007 –2009).

Prof. J. Ho, Dr. A. Gibson and Prof. R. Huard

Cornell University, New York, USA

The dissemination of the major RDRio sub-lineage of the LAM M. tuberculosis spoligotype family in Luso-American countries, Portugal and Africa

Dr. H. Mardassi

Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Tunisia

Characterisation of LAM evolutionary history (2007-present).

Prof. A. Steyn


The ESAT-6 secretion system interactome (2007- present).

Prof. Dr. VPMG Rutten, Dr. I. van Rhijn, Dr. A.P. Koets

Utrecht University

Non-tuberculous mycobacteria in wildlife (WOTRO Integrated program proposal) (2007 - present).

Dr R. Anthony

KIT The Netherlands

MLPA assay for the detection of ofloxacin resistance.

Identification of ofloxacin and amikacin heteroresistance.

Prof D. van Soolingen

RIVM The Netherlands

Evolution of the Beijing genotype Lineage

Evaluation of the MIRU-VNTR typing method

Dr K Kremer

RIVM The Netherlands

Whole genome sequencing of Beijing genotype strains

Dr V Dartois

Novatis Singapore

MassArray detection of mutations conferring drug resistance

Prof E Bottger

University of Zurich

Development and evaluation of novel genetic based diagnostics for drug resistance.

Evolution of ofloxacin resistance

Prof E Nardell

AIR facility, Witbank

Transmissibility of drug resistant TB

Prof. Erwin Schurr

McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Genetic epidemiology. Poster outputs; 4 papers published 2009-2010.

Prof. Laurent Abel & Alexandre Alcais

INSERM / Université Paris 5, France

Analysis of genetic epidemiology. Poster outputs; 4 papers published 2009-2010.

Dr Alkes Price

Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA

New collaboration. Analysis of admixture mapping.
Manuscript in preparation

Dr Brenna Henn

Stanford University, San Francisco, USA

Population Ancestry genetic determinations. Manuscript in preparation

Dr. Ingileif Jonsdottir

deCODE, Iceland

Genetic susceptibility to TB.

Dr. Lluis Quintana-Murci

Institut Pasteur, Paris,

Genetic susceptibility to TB and population structure. Paper published 2010.

Prof. Stefan Schreiber and Dr. Almut Nebel

Christian Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany

Investigation of candidate genes in TB. Resulted in 2 co-authored publications in 2007, and 2 co-authored publications in 2009.

Prof .Megan Murray

Harvard / Broad institute

Various project including the evolution of XDR-TB strains; other mechanisms of drug resistance (in addition to genomic mutations); mechanisms of resistance to 2nd line drugs; strain fitness; certain strain families may have both increased fitness and increased potential for acquiring drug resistance. All of these projects involve whole-genome sequencing, proteomics, microarray. Prof. Murray is directly involved in project planning, paper writing, funding proposals (NIH and Wellcome trust).   

Dr K Jacobson

Harvard University

  1. GIS of drug resistant TB in the Western Cape
  2. MDR treatment outcome in Brewelskloof Hospital

Treatment outcome of M(X)DR-TB in Khayelitsha

Dr. Judith Nagy

Imperial College London

Proteomics of large clusters (more transmitted) vs. small clusters (less transmitted) in the same strain family after other criteria to select isolates have been taken into consideration. The aim is to identify proteins differentially expressed in the same strain family which may give them an advantage to transmit better than others.

Prof. Harald Wiker and Dr G de Souza

Bergen University and Oslo University, Norway

Ongoing collaboration on the M. tuberculosis phosphorylome
New collaboration on the detection of drug resistance by single run multi-locus sequencing.
New collaboration on the M. tuberculosis secretome.

Dr Anita Schurch

RIVM, The Netherlands

Ongoing collaboration on M. tb genome evolution

Dr. Hernandez Pando Rogelio

National University of Mexico

Test different drug resistant strains (MDR / XDR) in a mouse model for strain fitness/virulence. The isolates are the same as described above and will compliment the data obtained by molecular investigations.
To determine whether reinfection induces reactivation.

Dr. Helen Cox


Collaboration on drug resistance in Khayelitsha, Western Cape. Impact of mixed infection on treatment outcome.

Prof. Tom Alber


Collaboration on the M. tuberculosis lipidome.

Prof. Brigitte Gicquel

Pasteur Institute

Collaboration on mutation in M. tuberculosis DNA repair genes.

Prof K Dheda


Molecular epidemiology of XDR-TB

Prof R McNerey


Whole genome sequencing of drug resistant M. tuberculosis strains

Dr. Kim Mallard


Whole genome sequencing of M. tuberculosis strains

Prof Anab Pain


Whole Genome Sequencing of Mycobacterial Species

Prof. Kathy Eisenach

Arkansas, USA

Mechanisms of strain fitness in an in vitro THP-1 cell line model. Project is in planning phase.

Prof. Stefan Kaufmann

Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany

Collaborators on BMGF-funded project.

Prof. Henry Boom

Cleveland, Ohio, US

Collaborators on BMGF-funded project.

Prof. Hazel Dockrell

London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Collaborators on BMGF-funded project, Co-applicants on grant application to BMGF.

Dr. Mark Doherty

Statens Serum Institute, Kopenhagen, Denmark

Collaborator on BMGF-funded project, collaborators on NIH-sponsored study

Dr. Martin Ota

MRC, The Gambia

Collaborators on BMGF-funded project.

Prof. Harriet Mayanja

Makerere University, Uganda

Collaborators on BMGF-funded project.

Prof. Willem Hanekom and Dr. Hassan Mahomed


Collaboration on TB vaccine studies

Dr. Carol Holm-Hansen

Norwegian Institute for Public Health

Collaboration on BMGF Grand Challenge Exploration grant, 2010-2011

Dr. Christoph Lange and Dr. Barbara Kalsdorf

Clinical Infectious Diseases,
Centre for Clinical Studies,
Medical Clinic,
Research Centre Borstel, Germany

Collaboration on TB diagnostic study 2011

Dr. Jeff Boyle

R&D, Cellestis, Australia

Collaboration on diagnostic TB study 2010-2011

Dr. Volkmar Schoellhorn

Auto-Immune Diagnostics (AID)

Collaboration on TB diagnostic study 2010-2011

Prof N. Beyers, Dr A. Hesseling, Dr S. Tonkin, Prof B. Marais


Non-tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) - Prevalence and Clinical relevance in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected children (2006 - present).

Prof. N. Beyers


Ongoing collaboration of the molecular epidemiology of M. tuberculosis in the W. Cape.

Dr. A. Michel, J. Godfroid, K. Coetzer, N. Kriek

Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute

Non-tuberculous mycobacteria in wildlife (WOTRO Integrated program proposal) (2007 - present).

Dr Mary Jackson

Colorado State University

Screen anti-TB compounds against RIF-resistant M. tuberculosis strains.

Dr Dorian Bevec

MondoBiotech, Switzerland

Screen peptides for anti-TB activity.

Prof. Kelly Chibale

Dept Chemistry, UCT

Screen antituberculosis lead compounds

Dr Corli Witthuhn

Food Science, SU

Fermentation Processes to kill M. Tuberculosis

Dr Thavi Govender

Dept. Chemistry, UKZN

Test antituberculosis activity of existing antituberculosis drug derivatives. K. Onajole 2009

Prof Green

Dept Chemistry, UWC

Screen new compounds and derivatives for antituberculosis activity

Dr. S. Todorov

Univ. Sao Paulo, Brazil

Antituberculosis activity of Bacteriocins
Todorov, 2008

Dr C. Kenyon

CSIR, Pretoria

Dormancy regulators of M.tb in human macrophages.

Dr. Haynes

Hong Kong University of Technology

Testing new compounds for antituberculosis activity

Prof Peter Folb

Pharmacology, UCT

Testing derivatives of Diphenyl Oxazole for antituberculosis activity

Ms. Marlein Bosman

NHLS , Green point

Collaborator on all our projects – provides routine samples.

Lily Telisinghe, Dr Salome Charalambous

Arum Health

TB in the correctional services

Dr Nazir Ismail


Drug resistant TB in South Africa

Dr. Sias May

TB Control program in Suidkaap/ Lawaaikamp

TB Control strategy.

Dr. Danie Theron

Eben donges hosp, Worcester

New project on DOTS program on farms.

Dr Else Marais


Ongoing collaboration on the molecular epidemiology of drug resistant TB in Gauteng.

Prof C. Reinecke, Dr du Toit Loots

North West University

M.tuberculosis metabolome.

Prof C Wright

NHLS Port Elizabeth

The diagnostic utility of FNAB

Dr. Alistair Calver

Gold Mine, Northern Cape

Ongoing, outbreak of drug resistance in a setting with a good control program.

Prof. Willem Hanekom


Sharing of technology (multicolour FACS, Luminex machine), sharing of samples, manuscript accepted for publication.

Prof. Frank Brombacher


Sharing of expertise (murine helminth models).

Dr A. Hesseling


New collaboration to investigate genotype-immunological phenotype correlations in children.

Prof. Keertan Dheda

Lung Institute, UCT

Collaboration in diagnostic/biomarker project.

Dr. Anna Mandalakas

Case Western Reserve University, USA

Collaboration of diagnostic studies in paediatric TB.

Dr. Marc Jacobsen

Bernhard Nocht Insitute, Hamburg, Germany

Collaboration on helminth/TB co-infection studies.

Dr. Muazzam Jacobs

University of Cape Town

New collaboration to assess the impact of steroid hormones on protective immunity to M. tuberculosis in a mouse animal model.

Prof Annelies van Rie


Treatment of HIV infected Children with Rifabutin

Evaluation of the Xpert MTB/RIF test.

Profs L Wangh, B Kreiswirt, F Drobneiwski

Brandis University, HPRI, QMUL

Evaluation of LATE PCR for the detection of resistance to first and second-line anti-TB drugs.

Dr. Ian Orme

Colorado State University, Colorado, USA

Virulence of TB strains in a guinea pig model: impact on Vaccine development 


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© CBTBR 2006 | Last updated: 17 August, 2015