People : Scientific : Faculty & Scientists


Inspire Faculty
sagarikahaldar [at] thsti [dot] res [dot] in
Postdoctoral Training as Innovation Awardee from Center for Biodesign and Diagnostics, THSTI
Ph.D. in Biotechnology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
Masters in Biotechnology from AIIMS, New Delhi
Bachelors in Microbiology from Delhi University.

Present Research Interest

The Tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic team at CBD is involved in the development of improved diagnostic tests for both pulmonary and extrapulmonary TB. The ultimate and final aim is for the development of technologies that will either improve current diagnostic modalities (viz. smear microscopy) or introduce novel tests (antigen detection) in point-of-care formats for TB diagnosis. Various projects are elaborated below.

Novel sample processing for the simple and rapid diagnosis of TB, MDR-TB and XDR-TB.

A low-cost rapid and accurate test has become at par with the search for the Holy Grail for TB diagnosis. Most of the current diagnostics at all laboratories begin with the direct smear microscopy test, a test which was developed around 125 years ago. Despite its limitation of low sensitivity, it is the most coveted test in high disease burden settings and the Revised National TB Control Programme also depends on it for case detection. It is believed that even a 10% increment in detection sensitivity will significantly impact case detection and drug resistant disease transmission. The team is targeted to improve the safety and performance of existing direct smear microscopy test for TB diagnosis and at providing a rapid PCR-based method for TB, Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) diagnosis using DNA extracted from the stained/unstained slides/filters used in smear microscopy. The efficient diagnosis of TB/MDR-TB by the proposed approach has a huge public health impact associated with it and has the twin advantage of detecting and treating subjects with active disease and blocking transmission of TB/MDR-TB/XDR-TB.

Utility of antigen detection for the accurate and rapid diagnosis of extrapulmonary TB.

The team is also involved in assessing the utility of antigen detection in improving the diagnosis of extrapulmonary TB including TB Meningitis, pleural TB and abdominal TB.



Tyagi S, Kumar N, Chaudhari S, Tyagi JS, Haldar S* (2017). Challenges in Pleural Tuberculosis diagnosis: Existing reference standards and nucleic acid tests. in press Future Microbiology *Corresponding author
Anthwal D, Gupta RK, Bhatnagar S, Tyagi JS & Haldar S* (2017). Direct detection of Rifampicin and Isoniazid resistance in sputum samples from tuberculosis patients by High Resolution Melt curve analysis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 55(6):1755-1766*Corresponding author
Kumar N, Gupta DG, Kumar S, Maurya P, Tiwari  A,  Mathew B, Banerjee S, Haldar S, Pillai J,  Bhatnagar  S and  Chaudhuri S (2016). Exploring packaged microvesicle proteome composition of Chinese Hamster Ovary secretome. J Bioprocess Biotech. 6:274
Haldar S, Sankhyan N, Sharma N, Bansal A, Jain V, Gupta VK, Juneja M, Mishra D, Kapil A, Singh UB, Prasad HK, Gulati S, Kalra V, Tyagi JS (2012).Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis GlcB or HspX antigens or devR DNA impacts the rapid diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis in children. e44630 PLoS ONE.
Haldar S, Bose M, Chakrabarti P, DaginawalaHF, Harinath BC, Kashyap RS, Kulkarni S, Majumdar A, Prasad HK, Rodrigues C, Singh S, SrivastavaR, Taori GM, Varma-Basil M, Tyagi JS (2011).Improved laboratory diagnosis of tuberculosis – The Indian experience. Tuberculosis(Edinb) 91(5):414-26.
Haldar S, Sharma N, Gupta VK, Tyagi JS (2009). Efficient diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis by detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA in cerebrospinal fluid filtrates using PCR. J Med Microbiol 58:616-624.
Haldar S, Chakravorty S, Bhalla M, Majumdar SD, Tyagi JS (2007). Simplified detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in sputum using smear microscopy and PCR with molecular beacons. J Med Microbiol 56:1356-62.
Chakravorty S, Pathak D, Dudeja M,Haldar S, Hanif M, Tyagi JS (2006). PCR amplification of shorter fragments from the devR (Rv3133c) gene significantly increases the sensitivity of tuberculosis diagnosis.FEMS Microbiol Lett257:306-11.
Haldar S, Majumdar SD, Chakravorty S, Tyagi JS, Bhalla M, Sen MK (2005). Detection of acid-fast bacilli in postlysis debris of clinical specimens improves the reliability of PCR. J Clin Microbiol 43:3580-1Haldar S*& Tyagi JS* (2014). Bacterial sediments from CSF are not the optimum sample for PCR-based diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis. Comment to article “Diagnostic Accuracy of Quantitative PCR (Xpert MTB/RIF) for Tuberculous Meningitis in a High Burden Setting: A Prospective Study” PLOS Medicine*Corresponding author



1.Title of grant: Novel sample processing for the simple and rapid diagnosis of TB, MDR-TB and XDR-TB. as PI
Duration: 2.5 years (2015-2017)
Funding Agency: SBIRI, DBT
Amount: Rs. 346.34 lakhs (total grant), Sanctioned to THSTI: Rs. 33.98 lakhs

2.Title of grant: Dynamic Molecular Platform for the rapid detection of Drug Resistant TB.
Duration: 5 years (2014-2019) as PI
Funding Agency: DST
Amount: Rs. 35 lakhs

3.Title of grant: Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigen-detection based point-of-care test using aptamer technology for tuberculous meningitis (TB meningitis)- as Co-PI
Duration: 1.5 years (2016-2019)
Funding Agency: BIRAC under BIG
Amount: Rs. 50 lakhs

4.Title of grant: Aptamer-based Tuberculosis Diagnostics Toolbox as PI

Duration: 3 years (2017-2020)

Funding Agency: DBT

Amount: Rs. 65 lakhs 


5.1.      Title of grant: Multi-centric validation of ‘TB-Detect’ and ‘TB  Concentration and Transport’  kit and  ’DNA extraction’ kit for the diagnosis of TB and drug resistant TB

Duration: 9 months (2017-2018)

Funding Agency: ICMR under TB Consortium

Amount: ~76 lakhs (total Grant for all institutions), Sanctioned to THSTI: Rs 15 lakhs

  • Recipient of the ‘The Global Health Travel Award’ funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to attend and present awarded research work at the Keystone Symposium: A5, New Developments in Our Basic Understanding of Tuberculosis to be held at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on January 14 – 18, 2017.
  • Received 1st prize in Poster session on Infectious Diseases in the 5th Annual Conference of the Molecular Pathology Association of India (MPAI) and International Symposium “Integration of Genetics and Genomics in Laboratory Medicine” held on March 12-13, 2016 at the PGIMER, Chandigarh. The poster was entitled Rapid detection of multi drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis directly from smear negative sputum samples by High Resolution Melt curve analysis.

  • Awarded under the DST INSPIRE Faculty scheme in Bio-Medical Sciences in January, 2014.

  • Awarded the Innovation Award at the Centre for Bio-design and Diagnostics at Translational Health Science and Technology Institute.
  • Awarded the prestigious Ranbaxy Science Foundation Scholarship Young Scientists award in the field of Medical Sciences for PhD research work.