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Vincent Escuyer, Ph.D.
Tuberculosis is the number one killer among infectious diseases and is responsible for 2 to 3 million deaths per year around the world. The recent emergence of multi- and extensively drug resistant strains (MDR and XDR, respectively) represents a threat to public health worldwide, particularly when associated with HIV. Consequently, there is an urgent need for new tools for early detection and identification of these strains.
The Clinical Mycobacteriology Laboratory at Wadsworth Center performs a full range of conventional and molecular testing procedures for rapid and accurate identification and characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the agent of tuberculosis. Our laboratory is interested in developing new molecular assays concurrently with conventional assays for rapid detection, identification and drug susceptibility testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex species. These assays involve state of the art molecular techniques including real-time PCR, pyrosequencing and DNA microarray. Early detection of drug resistance would allow faster intervention by the TB control programs and dramatically help the fight against tuberculosis.
Our laboratory is also interested in studying the molecular mechanisms underlying M. tuberculosis resistance to first line anti-TB drugs. A better understanding of these mechanisms will help the development of new drugs to fight this major disease.