tuberculosis

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day falls on March 24, 2018, and is an occasion in which to remember how far we have come in our fight against this preventable and curable infectious disease. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that over the past 15 years, the number of TB deaths worldwide has fallen by 47 percent, which means that 50 million lives have been saved since 2000. The United States reported 9,093 cases of TB in 2017, which is the lowest number of cases on record. This low infection rate is due to the tireless efforts of local TB control programs that find and treat people with TB disease in order to stop the cycle of transmission. TB control also...
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...
by Morgan McCloskey, Global Health Intern and Ellie Dehoney, Vice President of Policy and Programs at Research!America. This entry was originally posted as a guest contribution to the USAID IMPACT Blog. Doctor prepares malaria treatment. Photo credit: IMAD In the past decade, U.S. investments in science, technology and innovation have led to critical breakthroughs in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of deadly global diseases. We now have a meningitis vaccine for African populations, a new test that can quickly diagnose drug-resistant TB and promising data indicating that a vaccine could prevent HIV infection. We have developed desperately needed new drugs for neglected diseases and have...
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...
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that a Nepalese man detained at the U.S.-Mexico border has extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis, XDR-TB. Tuberculosis, a potentially fatal disease that can be passed through the air, has historically been curable with appropriate treatment. However, new strains of TB that are resistant to available drugs have recently emerged and pose a significant public health threat. Some strains are resistant to only a few drugs (multi-drug resistant TB) while other strains, such as the one carried by the man in this story, are resistant to nearly all existing drugs. Because of this, XDR-TB is extremely difficult to treat and experts warn that new drugs will...
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...
On December 3, Policy Cures released its fifth annual G-FINDER report , a comprehensive survey of funding for research and development for neglected diseases. The report tracks global public, private and philanthropic investments into R&D for 31 diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and NTDs. In positive news, this year’€™s report shows that total funding has actually increased by $443 million since 2007. The report demonstrates that government funding, which accounts for over two-thirds of all investment, is increasingly going toward basic academic research, rather than product development. Research!America believes it is vital that the entire research pipeline be fully...