Partner 9: Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control (SMI), Karolinska Institutet

Role, qualification and experience

The TB group at the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control/Karolinska Institutet has several decades of experience in TB research. The group consists of about 15 people, devoted to research on diagnostics, (molecular) epidemiology and new vaccines. The laboratory is also the WHO reference laboratory for surveillance of drug resistance in several high TB endemic countries.
For the purpose of studying the molecular epidemiology and diagnostics of human and bovine TB in Africa, we are collaborating with four African partners, Makerere University in Uganda (Dr Moses Joloba), Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique (Dr Adelina Machado), Laboratorio Nacional de Saude Publica in Guinea Bissau (Dr Francisco Dias) and Stellenbosch University in South Africa (Dr Paul van Helden).
Of particular interest is the development in our institute of a rapid and simple urine test for diagnosis of TB, which in principle can also be applied to any animal species, as it is an antigen detection test. The work concerning human TB is supported by the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), which is a Bill and Melinda Gates sponsored Foundation. We are also working on the development of a new carbohydrate microchip serological screening diagnostic test and a new tuberculosis vaccine (funded by AERAS, another Bill and Melinda Gates sponsored Foundation). Our team has collaboration with teams 7 and 15 (bovine TB).

Scientific leader

G. Källenius, MD, PhD, professor in Bacteriology at SMI and Karolinska Institutet. Co-ordinator EU project THIDOC (2006-2009). As head of the Swedish TB reference laboratory she has for more than 20 years been working in the field of diagnosis, epidemiology and pathogenesis of TB, with a special interest in bovine TB, with >130 internationally peer reviewed publications.

Key personnel

G.Källenius group: Tuija Koivula (PhD) is working on molecular epidemiology and evolution of M. tuberculosis in Africa.
Stefan B. Svenson group: Stefan B. Svenson (Dr Med. Scii, PhD) is professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, in Uppsala and consultant at SMI in infectious disease control. He has a broad background including molecular biology, organic chemistry (in particular bacterial carbohydrates), biochemistry and protein/peptide chemistry, with close to 200 articles published in peer reviewed international scientific journals. He is also inventor/co-inventor of more than 20 patents in the area of diagnostics, biotechnology and vaccines, several of which are applicable for the current proposal.
Beston Hamasur (PhD) has been working the last 15 years on TB, mainly on rapid diagnosis of TB, for which he is instrumental. He has been the laboratory bench leader for two EU supported TB diagnostic projects and has an outstanding expert knowledge in this field.
Andrzej Pawlowski (M.D. PhD) has been working for the last 15 years mainly on the development of new TB vaccines. He also has a vast experience of TB diagnostics, chemistry and immunology.


Karolinska Institutet, Sweden