The HPA has developed novel diagnostic assays to detect the TB bacterium and to identify drug resistant strains, particularly multi- and extensive drug resistant strains.
Through its specialist facilities for preclinical vaccine evaluation studies, the HPA is also conducting research on more effective vaccines against TB.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has separately funded the HPA to evaluate the predictive value of interferon gamma (IGRA) tests for the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection, and to review the evidence for the duration of protection offered by current TB vaccine (BCG).
Internationally, the Government are funding the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) for £5 million between 2009-14 to support their work on diagnostics for a range of diseases, including TB. The Government are also funding Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation for £8 million between 2009-14 to support development of new TB vaccines.
In addition, the Government have provided £12 million for 2008-13 to the Tropical Disease Research (TDR) special research programme based at the World Health Organization. TDR is involved in a wide range of research including research on TB diagnostics.