Our team has developed genetic tools allowing the study of the biology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We developed the first methods using molecular biology for the rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis and study transmission. We isolated the first M. tuberculosis virulence genes, which resulted, in collaboration with the University of Saragoza to the construction of a vaccine candidate against tuberculosis. It is now under phase 1 clinical trial.
We identified exchanges of genetic material between the family of mycobacteria (including major pathogens like M. tuberculosis) and other bacterial species of the environment as well as recent transmission between clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis. We are now focusing on drug screening using different chemical libraries, different mycobacterial species and genomic approaches.
Brigitte Gicquel has coordinated several European projects. She has been member of many expertise committees (Welcome trust, W.H.O., N.I.H.). She has coordinated several European projects and organised conferences and courses. She has organised international conferences and training courses on tuberculosis (Shanghai 2008 and 2012, Tunis 2010, Yaounde 2012, Paris 2012 and 2014). She has organised a network of African countries funded by OFID (OPEC Fund for International Development) aiming at implementing molecular-based rapid diagnosis and drug susceptibility testing related to the treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. She is now coordinating the EC project NAREB (Nanotherapeutics for Antibiotic Resistant Emerging Bacterial pathogens). She is heading a new laboratory, « Emerging bacterial pathogens » at the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai and works in collaboration with Institut Pasteur in Paris, the Fudan University and the Shanghai CDC.