ASTMH 2016: Online resource offers platform for clinicians and researchers working on drug-resistant tuberculosis

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Science Speaks is in Atlanta, Georgia this week covering news in global health research, policy and practice at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 65th Annual Meeting

Science Speaks is in Atlanta, Georgia this week covering news in global health research, policy and practice at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 65th Annual Meeting.

ATLANTA, Ga – An interactive online portal now allows clinicians and researchers across five countries heavily affected by drug-resistant tuberculosis to exchange and analyze information that includes X-rays, scans, genomic information and clinical data that includes types of resistance, co-infections, and outcomes of patients whose disease does not respond to the two most effective TB treatments.

The portal, which contains data from Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Romania and Azerbaijan, is one response to what a presenter here Tuesday called “a huge problem in Eastern Europe and Asia related to mismanagement of TB treatment and person to person transmission of resistant forms of tuberculosis.”

The presenter, Usman Sheikh works with Deloitte Consulting LLP, a firm that collaborated with the National Institute on Allergies and Infectious Diseases to develop the portal.

With cure rates for patients sick with tuberculosis resistant to at least two medicines of about 52 percent, the publicly available portal is aimed at improving patient outcomes, Sheikh said.

The portal contains clinical information on 596 patients, with all identifiers removed to protect  confidentiality. Engagement of local public health authorities and research institutions, and collaborations across national lines helped define the platform’s goals, Sheikh said.

The portal can be found here.

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