Category Archives: TB

What We’re Reading

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The December issue of Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS) has a supplement on HIV/AIDS among drug using populations. Articles include analyses of the link between drug use and HIV epidemics and antiretroviral therapy treatment and prevention in drug users. There is also one article that looks at tuberculosis and hepatitis C co-infection with HIV/AIDS, examining how these deadly combinations affect drug users worldwide.

On the ONE blog, Julie Walz from the Center for Global Development writes about their annual “Commitment to Development Index,” which ranks countries on their commitment to aid and development. The United States is No. 11. Sweden is No. 1, and South Korea comes in last.

MSF report demands urgent response to HIV, TB in Swaziland

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Twenty years ago, the average person in Swaziland could expect to live 60 years. Today, the ravages of the tuberculosis and HIV epidemics have dropped that number to 31 years, according to a new report “Fighting a dual epidemic” released today by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV infection among […]

The TB crisis in children

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The Global Center’s David Bryden reported from the 41st Union World Conference on Lung Health, last week in Berlin.

Tuberculosis is often thought of as a disease that mainly affects adults. However, at the Union World Conference on Lung Health in Berlin, Dr. Anneke Hesseling of the Desmond Tutu TB Centre in South Africa presented some startling information showing that the level of infection among children is actually quite significant, and that TB is an important issue for maternal and child health advocates.

XDR TB – a glimmer of hope

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The following is a story from Health-e news reporter Lungi Langa. The story appeared in South African newspapers on Oct. 21, 2010.

Khayelitsha’s Nolungile Clinic yesterday celebrated the first patient to successfully complete the harrowing treatment for Extensively Drug Resistant (XDR) TB, and be cured.

Xoliswa Majola *(37) is living proof that XDR TB can be cured and that a patient can been successfully treated on an outpatient basis – Majola remained at home for the largest part of her two year treatment and went to the clinic every day to receive her treatment.

TAG reports TB R&D investment increases in 2010; still not enough

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The Treatment Action Group (TAG) has released the 2010 Report on Tuberculosis Research Funding Trends, 2005-2009, which shows a “dramatic increase” of $122.5 million in research & development (R&D) spending between 2008 and 2009, with a total spending level of $614 million. The National Institutes of Health, the European Commission, the U.K. Medical Research Council, […]

The urgent need for new TB diagnostics

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The Global Center’s David Bryden is reporting from the 41st Union World Conference on Lung Health, this week in Berlin.

The recent article in The New Yorker by Michael Specter, “Letter from India: A Deadly Misdiagnosis,” is required reading for anyone interested in global health, drug resistance and expanding access to affordable tuberculosis services. The problems it reveals, including the irresponsible use of serological testing for TB in India, have been much discussed here in Berlin at the Union World Conference on Lung Health.

TB kills about 900 people per day in India, or about two people every three minutes. And each year there are 99,000 cases of multi-drug resistant TB. Nearly five percent of the incident cases there are HIV-positive.

Potential Shorter, Simpler TB Treatment Heads to Phase II Trials

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The TB Alliance announced this week enrollment of a Phase II trial, NC001 (or New Combination 1), testing the new TB drug candidates PA-824 and moxifloxacin in combination with pyrazinamide, an existing antibiotic commonly used in TB treatment today. The 14-day, inpatient study will be conducted with 68 patients in two clinical sites in South Africa. The drugs were separately tested for safety and efficacy in patients alone before entering the combination trial.

Science Speaks asked Carl Mendel, MD, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance), some questions about the trial:

In TB, breakthroughs possible for new tests

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After speaking about new tools to diagnose TB and other diseases, Dr. Giorgio Roscigno walked off the stage at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene last week in Atlanta only to face a long line of people waiting to talk with him. He stayed until organizers of the next session finally had to shoo him out of the room.

These are heady times for Roscigno. His Geneva-based group, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), has helped shepherd a series of new discoveries, including one pending TB test that several experts believe could revolutionize the treatment and care of the ancient disease.

WHO releases global TB update

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The World Health Organization (WHO) issued its 2010 annual report outlining global “control” of tuberculosis on Thursday. This is the most comprehensive report ever on the progress made combating TB globally, according to the WHO press release. Some of the startling statistics given in the report include that there were 9.4 million new TB cases […]

DeCock: “We dismiss routine TB control at our own peril”

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Kevin DeCock, MD, Director of the CDC’s Center for Global Health, has a lot on his plate these days. He oversees 900 people in CDC’s Atlanta headquarters and 1,500 people around the world. But he is not just monitoring efforts involving infectious diseases, he’s increasingly investigating ways to battle non-communicable diseases.

Still, with all of that, one of the things that worries him most is multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).