Press Releases 2024

Abgestorbene Zellen unterstützen Funktionalität und Vielfalt von Fresszellen des Immunsystems

Makrophagen stellen einen wichtigen Bestandteil des menschlichen Immunsystems dar. Diese Fresszellen erkennen unterschiedliche Krankheitserreger, infizierte und/oder abgestorbene Zellen und können diese aufnehmen und zerstören.  In einer aktuellen Studie, die heute in der Fachzeitschrift Science erschienen ist, konnte nun gezeigt werden, dass die aufgenommenen Zellen zu der Funktion und der Genexpression der Makrophagen beitragen. Diese Ergebnisse könnten in Zukunft die Wirksamkeit von Zelltherapien bei chronischen Lebererkrankungen verbessern. An dieser Studie, die federführend durch das Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf durchgeführt wurde, waren auch Forschende der Forschungsgruppe Immunbiophysik des Forschungszentrums Borstel, Leibniz Lungenzentrum und der Firma Helminguard, einer Ausgründung des FZBs, beteiligt.


Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis

Antibiotic resistance is one of the challenges facing mankind in the 21st century. This includes antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis, a topic for which the Research Center Borstel has particular expertise. Just in time for World Tuberculosis Day 2024, the journal Nature Reviews Disease Primers published a comprehensive overview of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. In this review, international experts from various medical disciplines shed light on the relevant topics of this complex disease, including epidemiology, transmission, prevention, diagnosis and treatment


Tuberculosis epidemiology in people of Ukrainian origin in the European Union and the European Economic Area, 2019 – 2022

Ukraine has a tuberculosis (TB) notification rate about six times higher than the total rate in the European Union and the European Economic Area (EU/EEA) and is a high-priority country in regards to drug-resistant TB. According to Eurostat data, approximately 5 million Ukrainians have been displaced to the countries of the EU/EEA since the start of the Russia – Ukraine war.


New pioneering Leibniz Lab to combat future pandemics

The new Leibniz Lab "Pandemic Preparedness: One Health, One Future" links excellent inter- and transdisciplinary research from 41 Leibniz institutes. For the first time in Germany, pathogen-oriented sciences (virology, bacteriology, mycology and immunology) are collaborating with other life sciences such as ecology, health technologies, health economics and educational research. This new instrument of the Leibniz Association will be funded for three years with three million euro. The aim of the Leibniz Lab is to pool research in these areas in order to prepare, to prevent and to respond better to future pandemics and to make the knowledge gained available to policymakers in the form of evidence-based recommendations for action.


We have an implementation problem

After to COVID-19, tuberculosis is the second most common fatal infectious disease in the world. In recent decades, the control of tuberculosis has been made more difficult by the emergence of multidrug-resistant strains of tuberculosis bacteria. Following the development of new drugs, the prognosis for patients suffering from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis has improved considerably. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) published new guidelines in autumn 2022 to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis with more effective drugs over a shorter period of time. New regimens require only 6 months of therapy, instead of 18 months previously. The new regimen only includes tablets and is free of injections.

One year later, the research network TBNET has now checked in which countries of the WHO European Region the new combination therapy is available and where laboratories can test the susceptibility of tuberculosis bacteria to the 4 drugs of the new combination treatment. The results are shocking. Although the drugs are on the WHO's list of essential drugs and treatment success with the new therapy is 30% better than with the old therapy, the new therapy is only available in half of the countries in the WHO Euro Region. The situation is even worse when it comes to susceptibility testing. Here, just 14% of countries are able to test the sensitivity of bacteria to the drugs used in combination therapy.

"We don't have a research and development problem," says Professor Christoph Lange, Medical Director at the Research Center Borstel and co-coordinator of the study, "but an implementation problem. Patients are dying because they don't have access to vital medicines." Professor Lange also clarifies: "The lack of capacity for susceptibility testing of tuberculosis bacteria to the new combination treatment is a disaster. If everyone receives the same treatment because you don't know which bacteria are susceptible and which are not, you breed out the resistant strains of bacteria. This is a principle of evolution. This is how the problem of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis arose in many countries of the former Soviet Union in the 1990s”.

“Now we are making the same mistake". Lange says. He and his colleagues at TBNET argue that the development of antibiotic resistance diagnostics must keep pace with the development of new drugs and their use. Innovative methods are being developed at the Research Center Borstel and are being evaluated in high-incidence countries for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.


Publication: Günther G, Guglielmetti L, Kherabi Y, Duarte R and Lange C for the TBNET. Availability of drugs and resistance testing for BPaLM regimen for rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis in Europe. Clin Microbiol Infect 2024 Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 2024,


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Christoph Lange
Klinische Infektiologie
Parkallee 35
23845 Borstel
T 04537 188 3010
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