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Alternative methods

09 - 10 - 2017

Tuberculosis research

An article overviews all new in vitro models and in vivo models for the study of tuberculosis.


Researchers at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Porto in Portugal published an article on the models used by biomedical research to study tuberculosis.


Tuberculosis is one of the top ten causes of death in the world, and the first as a bacterial disease. It is estimated that diagnoses and existing treatments have saved 49 million lives between 2000 and 2015. But the incidence of the disease decreases annually by 1.5% and WHO wants to put an end the disease by 2030.


This will require resource deployment in the field and progress towards better vaccines, diagnosis and treatments.


Biological models are the only means of studying the disease other than within patients. Besides the classical models (animals, human cell cultures or 2D animals) new models have appear (3D cultures of human cells obtained from patient cells, cocultures, lung organoids).




The new models are promising but need to be improved. For example, the absence of an immune system and blood vessels limits the use of organoids, moreover, it is still impossible to manufacture the organoids directly from patient cells.


Using all biological models according to their specificities is the best way to eliminate this deadly disease.