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TBnet News February 2023

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

Webinar today: focusing on Post tuberculosis lung disease

Today, Thursday March 2 @16:00 – 17:00 CET comes a TBnet webinar with Andrea Rachow, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Germany, Johanna Eggeling, Research Center Borstel, Germany and the expert panel.

Here is the link to the webinar:


New TBnet consensus statement is published – together with RESIST-TB!

Congrats to Jose Dominguez et al for preparing and publishing this useful consensus statement:

Clinical implications of molecular drug resistance testing for Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a 2023 TBnet/RESIST-TB consensus statement.

Read the open access paper here:


Call for participation as a clinical site/third party in a Horizon application

TBnet is seaking clinical sites within the WHO European Region to participate in a Horizon Europe application as third party. TBnet is a partner in this application and the organization that coordinates the application is the Research Institute Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP).

The proposal aims to include TB patients with or without prior non-communicable diseases, particularly those with mental health impairment and lung chronic diseases, and follow them up until 6 months after treatment. The goal of the proposal is to gain insight into the links between tuberculosis and the onset and exacerbation of non-communicable diseases, providing a better understanding of their causative relationship.

In the form the clinical sites will be asked to provide the IGTP with the cost per patient for their participation in the proposal, as well as a letter of support.

If the proposal is funded, the clinical sites will be expected to enrol and follow-up with the patients as per the protocol, for which they will receive funds to cover the associated costs. Additionally, support in analysing any prior data related to the proposal that the clinical sites may have will be offered.


Call for TBnet country representatives in WHO European Region

TBnet announce a call for TBnet country representatives in WHO European Region. Country representatives are the TBnet members who provide the data for the country in the TBnet studies. The TBnet chair Liga Kuksa has been working towards updating the list of the TBnet country representatives since in some area of tuberculosis we still need active study contributors.

We are happy that many of you expressed interest to continue serving as country representatives.

Please confirm your participation as country representatives for term 2023 – 2025 by mail to Liga Rusmane, TBnet admin:

In the mail:

  1. Provide your affiliation and a short motivation statement.

  2. Include the area of your expertise where you prefer to serve as the TBnet country representative:

  • Either Diagnostic,

  • or Epidemiology,

  • or Treatment,

  • or Translational Research,

  • or a combination of the expertise areas above.

Those who never served as the country representative are also welcome to apply – there can be up to four country representative per country based on experise area!


Meet TBnet partners – Milano edition

TBnet annual meeting will be in Milano, Italy – in connection to this, we publish the long reads about TBnet members in Milano. Read and take an opportunity to meet them live during the TBnet annual meeting in September.

San Raffaele Scientific Institute

The San Raffaele Scientific Institute is one of the largest research campus in Italy. It includes the The Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (USR), the Ospedale San Raffaele, a leading private research hospital recognized by the Italian Ministry of Health. It comprises clinical, research and training activities, conducted in a highly specialized and qualified campus with 1,318 beds, around 1,600 basic, clinical and translational scientists. With more than 150 laboratories (>130.000 sqm dedicated to research activities), the San Raffaele Scientific Institute is one of the leading private scientific research institutes in Italy and performs cutting-edge science and aims at advancing the knowledge about human diseases and novel therapies through translational research.

San Raffaele team

A common campus hosts all teaching, basic, translational and clinical research activities in a large infrastructural compound. Therefore, the San Raffaele Scientific Institute offers the opportunity to work in a unique environment where research laboratories, clinical units, and teaching activities effectively interact on a daily basis. It is also part of the European University Hospital Alliance (EUHA) (, a network of European university hospitals with demonstrated excellence in healthcare, education and research.

Various Institutional Facilities ( are available in campus to provide support to the scientific activities.

The Emerging Bacterial Pathogens Unit, led by DM Cirillo, is fully integrated in this scientific and highly competitive environment. Being part of the WHO Tuberculosis Supranational Reference Laboratories ( and recognized as WHO Collaborating Centre in TB laboratory strengthening (ITA-98), the team brings together expertise in both basic and translational research in the field of Mycobacteria and in the development of new diagnostic tools for detection of drug-resistant bacteria. In addition, the EBPU staff is contributing to the development of national, WHO and ECDC guidelines, policies. EBPU offers training courses for implementation of genomic technologies and capacity building in high burden settings.

The main areas of research include:

  • Investigation of the determinants of drug resistance at genomic level and the correlation between specific SNPs in relevant genes and an increase in the phenotypic resistance by quantitative methods.

  • Investigation of the pathogen’s associated determinants leading to the progression of the disease with a focus on the role of non-coding genomic regions.

  • Design and evaluation of new diagnostic assays.

  • Investigation of TB transmission dynamics among vulnerable population and the best strategy to be implemented for an early detection.

  • Use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) and in-house bioinformatic pipelines for the surveillance of TB outbreaks.

  • WGS-based revision of the taxonomy of NTMs and transmission investigation.

  • Development of a mouse model of lung chronic infection to study disease progression after NTMs infection and response to novel antibiotic therapies.

Contributed by:

Daniela Maria Cirillo MD,PhD

Emerging Bacterial Pathogens, head

WHO Collaborating Centre Ita-98

TB Supranational Reference Laboratory

IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute

Istituto Villa Marelli- ASST Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda

Villa Marelli, a former private suburban villa of a prominent milanese family, is possibly the oldest still running Italian institution which deals with the fight against TB. After being donated to the Governament to host the soldiers with cerebral wounds during WWI, in 1927 it was transformed in a TB outpatient clinic and in 1932 it became the Central Dispensary of the Milan Provincial AntTB Consortium. After several enlargements, thanks to the decline of incidence of tuberculosis in the '90ies it became a public Institute for Chest and Heart diseases and, after becoming part of Niguarda Hospital, it has recently been transformed in a Community Clinic, still maintaining its public mission to preserve health of the population.

Within it, 3 pulmonologists and 7 public health nurses of the TB Unit are still dedicated to preventing and treating TB in the metropolitan area, acting also as Regional Reference Centre for difficult to manage TB cases and, especially in the last decade, for NTM related diseases.

Villa Marelli team

Together with these activities, and in collaboration with the Public Health local Unit, we have also recently launched a program for active research of TB/TBI in special populations such as refugees, homeless or large communities contacts with a mobile unit that screens the subjects directly where they live/work/study. All this results in a yearly activity consisting in about 8-10.000 visits, 4500 TST and 3500 IGRAs and includes managing about 200 active TB cases, 900-1200 LTBI preventive treatment and 40-80 NTM patients.

We also directly support the StopTB Italia ONG, also located in Villa Marelli, both in the national and international initiatives, the latter now concentrated in Senegal with a project based on intertwined medical, educational and agricultural programs in rural areas South of Dakar. Being so few, and so busy in many activities, this does not allow us to have much time for research, but we are always happy to share our data and take part of studies/surveys, in collaboration with other Italian or international Centres. Recently we have provided the national data for the TBNet studies on Drugs availability and prices in Europe published by Claude Leu and Gunar Gunther. Least but not last, we are part of the national Registry for NTM pulmonary disease IRENE and we have been one of the top recruiting Centres in Europe for the initial studies on aerosolized liposomial amykacine for refractory M avium disease. Luigi Codecasa started working at Villa Marelli since 1983, at first as medical student and then as a pulmonologist, and has been heading the TB Unit from 2000 on.

Contributed by: Dr. Luigi Ruffo CODECASA Responsabile SSD TISIOLOGIA CLINICA E PREVENTIVA Centro Regionale di Riferimento per il Controllo della Tubercolosi Istituto Villa Marelli- ASST Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda


Join ESCMID Postgraduate Education Course on genomic data for optimizing the tuberculosis management!

Where/when: Milan, September 6-7, 2023

This very useful course will be in beautiful Milano just before the TBnet yearly meeting and the ERS congress – make more use of your Milano visit!

Course title:

How to use genomic data for optimizing the management of tuberculosis and other mycobacterial infections


ESCMID Study Group for Mycobacterial Infections – ESGMYC


Daniela Maria Cirillo, Milano, Italy

Lorenzo Guglielmetti, Paris, France.

Here is the link to the course flyer with more info:

Course flyer
Download PDF • 606KB


Review new proposals by WHO as for use of TB antibiotics – BDQ, delamanid and other

The meeting of the 24th WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines will be held at WHO Headquarters, Geneva, from 24 to 28 April 2023 to revise and update the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) and the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children (EMLc).

Several applications submitted for the upcoming update of the WHO EMLs have been published and they are now open for comments. The submitted applications are linked to removing the age cutoff for bdq and dlm, in line with WHO recomendatios, as well as including Ethionamide in the core list of the TB section - given its role in DS-TB TBM (linked to the newly recommended 6-month intensive regimen for TBM) and other "minor" changes.


That’s all folks!

TBnet News editor, Olena Rzhepishevska, PhD

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