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TB continues to place  an enormous burden on communities around the world. An estimated 10 million people fell ill from tuberculosis (TB) in 2019 and 1.4 million died from the infection. Amongst the 500,000 people who were estimated to have rifampicin-resistant TB in the same year, only around 40% were enrolled in treatment. You can find The World Health Organisation’s most recent report here

CRyPTIC has supported the citizen science project, BashTheBug, which is hosted on the Zooniverse platform. This allows anyone, anywhere in the world, to examine images taken from the 96-well microtitre plates used by the project to assess the antibiotic susceptibility profile of each clinical sample. Via a web browser, each volunteer looks at the wells for a single drug and, by comparing the growth to that seen in the two positive control wells, assesses which is the first well with no bacterial growth. Each drug image is shown to at least 11 different volunteers and as of November 2020, 46,427 volunteers have done 4,746,320 classifications with the top twenty uses having done > 20,000 classifications each.


BashTheBug successfully secured funding from Wellcome via Round 1 of the Enriching Engagement Grants Scheme at the University of Oxford in 2019.

For more information on BashTheBug please see its blog, Twitter feed or give the project a go!


Screenshot from the BashTheBug citizen science project on the Zooniverse.