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Petros Constantine Karakousis, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Petros Constantine Karakousis, M.D.
  • Professor of Medicine

Languages: English, German, Greek, Russian, Spanish


Infectious Disease, Tuberculosis

Research Interests

Mycobacterium tuberculosis latency and persistence

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 410-955-1725
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-502-8233


Dr. Petros Karakousis is an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has a joint appointment in international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His areas of clinical expertise include infectious diseases and tuberculosis. 

Dr. Karakousis received his undergraduate degree in 1994 from the Johns Hopkins University and his medical degree in 1998 from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He completed residency training in internal medicine in 2001 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. After completing fellowship training in infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins, he joined the Department of Medicine faculty in 2005. 

His research interests include Mycobacterium tuberculosis latency and persistence.

Dr. Karakousis is a board member for the Hopkins Hellenic Initiative. He serves as an academic editor for PLoS One and is on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Infectious Diseases. He is a member of the American Thoracic Society, the American Society for Microbiology, the Infectious Disease Society of America and the American College of Physicians. more


  • Professor of Medicine

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD, Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis (1998)


  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania / Internal Medicine (2001)


  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Infectious Diseases (2005)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine / Infectious Disease (2005)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Karakousis’ primary research interest is the molecular basis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis latency and reactivation. Secondary interests include preclinical screening of novel TB drugs and drug combinations in animal models of caseous necrosis, as well as development of novel molecular assays for the rapid diagnosis of latent TB infection and active TB disease, and for the detection of drug resistance.


The primary focus of the Karakousis Lab is to understand the molecular basis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis latency and reactivation. 

Major research activities include studying the adaptation of M. tuberculosis to stress conditions believed to be important in the infected human host, as well as the phenomenon of phenotypic tolerance to antibiotics. In particular, the regulatory cascade involved in the mycobacterial stringent response is under active investigation. A systems biology-based approach is being used to identify host cytokine networks responsible for immunological control of M. tuberculosis growth, as well as M. tuberculosis regulatory and metabolic pathways required for bacillary growth restriction and reactivation.

The laboratory is also actively involved in preclinical drug screening in physiologically relevant animal models. 

A third focus of the laboratory is the development of novel molecular assays for the rapid diagnosis of latent TB infection and active TB disease, and for the detection of drug resistance. Specifically, molecular assays using blood, sputum, and urine samples are being investigated with the goal of developing rapid, sensitive and specific point-of-care tests for TB diagnosis and detection of drug resistance.

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Levine DM, Dutta NK, Eckels J, Scanga C, Stein C, Mehra S, Kaushal D, Karakousis PC, Salamon H. "A tuberculosis ontology for host systems biology." Tuberculosis. 2015;95(5):570-574.

Subbian S, Tsenova L, Kim M-J, Wainwright HC, Visser A, Bandyopadhyay N, Bader JS, Karakousis PC, Murrmann GB, Bekker LG, et al. "Lesion-specific immune response in granulomas of patients with pulmonary tuberculosis: A pilot study." PLoS ONE. 2015;10(7).

Xu Z, Zhou A, Ni J, Zhang Q, Wang Y, Lu J, Wu W, Karakousis PC, Lu S, Yao Y. "Differential expression of miRNAs and their relation to active tuberculosis." Tuberculosis. 2015;95(4):395-403.

Zhou A, Ni J, Xu Z, Wang Y, Zhang H, Wu W, Lu S, Karakousis PC, Yao Y-F. "Metabolomics specificity of tuberculosis plasma revealed by 1(H) NMR spectroscopy." Tuberculosis. 2015;95(3):294-302.

Chuang Y-M, Bandyopadhyay N, Rifat D, Rubin H, Bader JS, Karakousis PC. "Deficiency of the novel exopolyphosphatase Rv1026/PPX2 leads to metabolic downshift and altered cell wall permeability in Mycobacterium tuberculosis." mBio. 2015;6(2).

Contact for Research Inquiries

Center for Tuberculosis Research
1551 E. Jefferson Street, Rm 110
Baltimore, MD 21287-0014 map
Phone: 410-502-8233

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Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Graduate Program in Pathobiology

Activities & Honors


  • Fellow, Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2010
  • Basic Research Junior Faculty Award, Johns Hopkins, 2009
  • Basic Research Junior Faculty Award Finalist, Johns Hopkins, 2008
  • Arthur M. Dannenberg, Jr. Award for Postdoctoral Research, 2005
  • Best Abstract, Assembly of Microbiology, Tuberculosis, and Pulmonary Infections, American Thoracic Society Annual Meeting, 2004
  • Travel Grant to ATS Annual Meeting, American Thoracic Society, 2004
  • Basic Research Postdoctoral Fellow Award Nominee, Johns Hopkins, 2004


  • American Thoracic Society, 2004
  • American Society for Microbiology, 2002
  • Infectious Disease Society of America, 2002
  • American College of Physicians, 2000

Professional Activities

  • Instructor/Assistant Professor, Reappointment Review Committee, Johns Hopkins, 2014
  • Senior Advisory Council, Office of Faculty Development, Johns Hopkins, 2014
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2013
  • Academic Editor, PLoS One, 2011
  • Hopkins Hellenic Initiative Board Member, Johns Hopkins University-University of Patras, Greece, 2007

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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