Wilkinson lab Tuberculosis Laboratory

Khayelitsha, South Africa: a peri-urban township of around 400000 people 30 km from the centre of Cape Town.

We are investigating the interaction between tuberculosis and the immune response to find better ways to treat the disease, particularly in people who also have HIV.

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the world’s deadliest diseases, infecting up to a quarter of the global population and causing around 1.7 million deaths every year.
We want to find out why TB causes death and disability and how the disease damages certain parts of the body, such as the brain, heart or lungs. Using materials and data from clinical trials carried out in South Africa, we are investigating how individual differences in the immune system and other factors can affect the course of the disease.

We also want to know how to use antibiotics better, so that we can treat the infection effectively but also reduce the damage caused by the immune response to the disease. And we are particularly interested in looking at the impact of TB infection in people who are already suffering from other conditions including HIV.

Our work is revealing new ways to improve the diagnosis and treatment of TB, and pointing towards targets for immune-modulating therapies that could save lives and reduce the global burden of tuberculosis.

Crick African Network

Crick African Network

Find out more about the Crick African Network and it's approach to tackling infectious diseases.

Read more about the network

Crick African Network

Africa is disproportionately burdened by infectious diseases.

A network called the Crick African Network has been created to address this.

The network is led by Robert Wilkinson and five African partner institutes. It is the result of a £6.6m grant through Research Councils UK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).