TB

Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Ellie Dehoney, Research!America’s Vice President of Policy and Advocacy. Ten years ago this month, Dr. Francis Collins became the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health. The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, of which Research!America is a member, sent a letter to Dr. Collins congratulating and thanking him for his remarkable service, achievements and impact. Our latest web resource highlights the history, progress, and promise of the groundbreaking research NIH conducts and supports. Funding for NIH and our nation’s other science agencies hinges on timely congressional action, and on you. Don’t wait to advocate. Hard-won...
We are reminded yet again why global health issues matter for Americans with recent news coverage of a possible tuberculosis outbreak at a Virginia high school that may have affected over 430 faculty and students. Health officials are recommending that all individuals at the school be tested for the disease. Tuberculosis bacteria Photo credit: CDC/ Dr. Ray Butler Historically, tuberculosis has been the world’€™s greatest infectious killer, taking an estimated billion lives over the past 200 years. Tuberculosis remains a global threat today ’€“ in 2011 alone, the disease sickened 8.7 million people. Even more alarming is the rise of drug-resistant forms of the disease. WHO estimates that...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday, President Obama tweeted about the effects of sequestration on medical research. From @barackobama, “The #sequester is slowing the pace of medical research, delaying the discovery of cures and treatments. Read more .” It is terrific that the president is helping drive increased attention to medical research. Our thanks to him and also to all who have joined our Memorial Day recess week of social media advocacy . The American Heart Association posted this great image to its Facebook page; we also thank Society for Neuroscience , BIO , The Endocrine Society , Melanoma Research Alliance , University of Maryland School of Medicine , CURE Epilepsy and UPenn...
A recently published, unexpected discovery coming from researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University suggests that vitamin C may be a useful component to treating drug-resistant tuberculosis. This finding may sound more like something out of a television medical drama than real life, but the research €”funded by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease at the National Institutes of Health suggests that ascorbic acid may help kill the bacteria that cause TB. These preliminary findings have laid a foundation for clinical trials using vitamin C in tandem with other drugs. Researchers observed that vitamin C treatment of the cultured bacteria led to...
On March 24, World Tuberculosis Day , the Lancet published a series of papers on the need to combat drug-resistant tuberculosis. Cases of drug-resistant TB are on the rise, posing a growing threat to the health of populations in all parts of the world. The series consists of six papers written by international experts in the tuberculosis field, including Professor Alimuddin Zumla, Director of the Centre for Infectious Diseases at the University College London Medical School and Dr. Marco Schito at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Some papers focus on TB diagnostics, highlighting advances such as the Xpert MTB/RIF test as well as the dire need for new affordable and...
Research!America’s booth at GHTC briefing On February 26, the Global Health Technologies Coalition held a Capitol Hill briefing, ’€œ Renewing US leadership: Policies to advance global health research .’€ The briefing included displays from global health nonprofits, the launch of GHTC’€™s fourth annual policy report as well as a panel discussion. Panelists included Dr. Lee Hall, Chief of Parasitology and International Programs at NIAID, Dr. Alan Magill, Director of Malaria at the Gates Foundation and Dr. Caroline Ryan, Deputy Coordinator for Technical Leadership at PEPFAR. Each highlighted key U.S. contributions to global health including the development of a rapid TB diagnostic, advances...
On February 4, Aeras released the results of a clinical trial of one of their TB vaccine candidates. The trial was conducted in South Africa with nearly 3,000 infants and while the vaccine was safe and well-tolerated, ultimately it was not found to provide protection against TB. Although the results were not what researchers had hoped, the trial was the first of its kind and proved that a large-scale clinical trial to test a TB vaccine in infants can be successfully run in a country with a high TB burden like South Africa. Researchers also pointed out that there are twelve other TB vaccines in clinical development and the infrastructure built through this trial can be used to test these...
An article in the most recent issue of The Scientist highlighted the importance of affordable diagnostics for global health. Although scientific advances have improved treatment options for many global diseases, a lack of effective, low-cost diagnostics hinders the health of many in the developing world. For example, medicines to treat HIV and tuberculosis have been life-saving for many individuals, but they can cause liver damage and patients on these medications must be monitored. However, the primary test for liver damage requires expensive equipment that is simply not available in low-income countries. To solve this problem, a Massachusetts biotech company, Diagnostics For All ,...
As we ring in the New Year, 2013 promises to be an exciting time to be involved in the fight to raise support and awareness for neglected tropical diseases. As the world becomes more interconnected and global warming changes disease patterns, NTDs are increasingly spreading across borders ’€“ including right here at home. For example, Slate recently published an article addressing the return of dengue in the United States . In the past few years, dengue has sickened hundreds in Florida and other southern states. Experts warn that the combination of the virus, a lack of immunity to dengue and widespread mosquitoes provide the perfect storm of conditions for larger dengue outbreaks in the U.S...
On December 13 and 14, the global health community gathered at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York for a conference called ’€œ Lives in the Balance: Delivering Medical Innovations for Neglected Patients and Populations .’€ Hosted by Mount Sinai Global Health, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) , the conference aimed to spur innovation for new tools to combat neglected diseases. Several key themes emerged from the conference. First, there is a ’€˜fatal imbalance’€™ between the burden of neglected disease and medical innovations to combat these illnesses. Neglected diseases affect more than 1.4 billion people worldwide and account for...

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