News

Brief news reports on Tuberculosis

A TB breakthrough: The "espresso" machine

MANILA, Philippines — The machine didn’t look like much. It was a little bigger than a breadbox and had a bunch of clear vials on top.

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A face of TB: Mildred Fernando

MANILA, Philippines – The images of tuberculosis patients from the developing world are often painful to look at: the outlines of rib cages taut against skin; arms and legs no thicker than wiffleball bats; a wild-eyed look of fear from sunken eyes.

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New agreement to speed development of TB drug combinations

Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) and the TB Alliance joined with pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, Bayer, Sanofi and Tibotec in an innovative agreement to share information about tuberculosis (TB) compounds in their drug pipelines and speed the development of new regimens, including the most promising multi-drug treatments, regardless of sponsor. The partnership was formed under the Critical Path to TB Drug Regimens (CPTR) initiative, which was co-founded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Critical Path Institute and the TB Alliance.

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Clinical trials are a mess: How to get needed vaccines out faster

The global health community has been abuzz with news that the new malaria vaccine, which has been in the development phase for over two decades, appears to greatly reduce the risk of malaria in children in Africa. Yet this exciting success story is just one of nearly 90 promising new medicines, vaccines, and diagnostic techniques stuck in the tangled clinical trials process. What is more, if the clinical trials process doesn't improve it could be years before many of those drugs ever get through the complicated testing process to reach the one billion people in the developing world who suffer from neglected diseases like TB and Dengue Fever. How many malaria deaths could have been prevented if only the clinical trials process had been improved sooner?

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Researchers uncover why the body can't defend against TB

Tuberculosis, which kills over 2 million people each year, is caused primarily by infectious bacteria known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis – or Mtb. Mtb targets human immune cells as part of its strategy to avoid detection, effectively neutralizing the body's immune response.

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TB Alliance to advance testing of improved TB treatments

(Durban, SOUTH AFRICA,) The TB Alliance today announced the launch of a collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) to conduct and help complete a Phase III clinical trial testing potentially faster-acting tuberculosis (TB) treatments. Few clinical trials for TB have been conducted under modern GCP/GCLP standards in the past 40 years, and the infrastructure to support invigorated global TB drug research is lacking, especially in resource-limited settings where the majority of TB cases are found. The partnership between the NIAID’s ACTG and TB Alliance joins available resources with the urgent need for TB clinical research capacity to accelerate testing of new therapies that can benefit both the HIV/AIDS and TB communities.

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North Korea struggling to fight epidemic of drug-resistant TB

North Korea is grappling with a strain of the deadly lung disease tuberculosis that is resistant to conventional treatment. Humanitarian workers say the impoverished communist country, which already has one of the highest rates of tuberculosis outside of sub-Saharan Africa, is unable to cope with the outbreak.  Most victims could die of the disease within years. But some help is coming from an outside foundation.

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Poor adherence not enough to cause development of MDR-TB

Poor adherence may not be enough to cause multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, a laboratory study published in the online edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases suggests.

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XPert MTB/RIF found to be cost effective in low- and middle-income settings

A study led by Frank Cobelens of the Amsterdam Institute of Global Health and Development, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and colleagues reports on the cost-effectiveness of implementing the Xpert MTB/RIF diagnostic test for tuberculosis (TB) in high burden countries. Based on their findings, which are published in this week's PLoS Medicine, the authors predict that Xpert will be a cost-effective method of TB diagnosis, compared with current standard techniques, in low- and middle-income countries.

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ECDC: 80,000 cases of TB infection a year in Europe

Europe's health is suffering, with around 80,000 cases of tuberculosis infection a year and serious problems with measles, HIV and threats from "superbug" infections, an annual health report on the region said Thursday.

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