TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 029 — Out of Africa: Teaming up to Develop a New TB Test

Dr. Jordi Torrelles meets with future collaborators on a 2019 trip to Africa.

Tuberculosis is the deadliest infectious disease in the world: tuberculosis. Somewhere in the world, a person dies of TB every 21 seconds.

Africa is a continent full of supreme beauty. Sadly, it is also a continent facing some intense health crises. Imagine trying to test for TB in areas where there may not be electricity of even running water. One of Texas Biomed’s TB researchers traveled to three countries Africa in early 2019 to create collaborations to help test a cheaper, faster, easier way to detect the disease and pinpoint the best course of treatment.

Many parts of Africa are still wild and home to spectacular animals.

While he was in Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa, Professor Jordi Torrelles, Ph.D., spent much of his time talking to people at various clinics and research facilities. Working in collaboration with these groups, Dr. Torrelles is planning to have samples from some of the many TB patients in this region processed, frozen and shipped to San Antonio, Texas, so that Texas Biomed researchers can work on an experimental detection system.


TB clinics in the southern part of Africa do what they can with few resources.


Dr. Torrelles’ research reaches to many others part of the globe as well, including Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, China, Ukraine.