Funding for research of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis

Associate Professor Tarja Sironen received a research grant of 563 000 euros from Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.

The grant is supporting a project titled “Next-generation sequencing approaches for combating the antibiotic resistome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis” co-authored together with Dr. Ravi Kant and Dr. Fathiah Zakham.

The project focus is on antibiotic resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis is a major public health problem around the globe with more than 10 million cases annually. Emergence of multidrug resistant tuberculosis worsens the treatment and control options continuously.

“Our goal is to develop a culture-independent next generation sequencing based assay for obtaining full diagnostic information, including prediction of resistance to all anti-mycobacterial drugs rapidly, accurately, and affordably,” says Tarja Sironen.

The method should be able to identify resistance-conferring mutations or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) related to each anti-tuberculosis drug.

“The same methodology can be later used in other bacterial multi-drug resistant infections, and is part of our efforts to use bacterial whole genome sequencing as a tool in characterization of bacterial infections,” Sironen continues.

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