Research for biomarkers supporting personalized medicine in infectious diseases is needed, especially for tuberculosis in which the existing toolbox does not yet address the public health priorities. Biobanks are essential infrastructures in this effort by collecting, authenticating and preserving human and/or bacterial specimens. A broad range of specimens should be collected prior to, during and following treatment, with a comprehensive characterisation of the sample donors and the samples themselves to accommodate the most recent technological platforms in biomarker research. This review explains current state-of-the-field biobanking practices in tuberculosis and suggests technical and managerial improvements to ensure long-term preservation and optimal use of the specimens. Open-access and certified biobanks are an essential component of a strategy supporting the development of drugs and diagnostic tests for both public health and personalised medicine. Biobanks have a role to play in the interaction between these two - not always compatible - approaches.
- Infectious diseases