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Efforts To End AIDS Could Also Reduce TB Burden With Proper Funding

In response to Michael Gerson’s November 11 column in which he said the end of AIDS is possible because of combination prevention and treatment innovations, David Bryden, the Stop TB advocacy officer at RESULTS, writes in a Washington Post letter to the editor, “Another benefit of [HIV] treatment is that it sharply reduces deaths from tuberculosis [TB], which is the primary killer of people living with HIV/AIDS.” He says that “to fully succeed in Africa, where TB and HIV/AIDS are often two sides of the same coin, we have to quickly identify people who have TB or who are vulnerable to it and get them the services they need,” which also means developing an accurate quick test for the disease.

New Collaboration Enables Information Sharing To Aid In Development Of TB Drug Candidates

In this post in the Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs” blog, Heather Ignatius, senior policy manager for the TB Alliance, writes that while “[t]he most recent WHO TB Control report noted that rates of [tuberculosis (TB)] declined this past year for the first time in decades, … TB remains one of…

VOA News Examines Foundation’s Efforts To Treat MDR-TB Patients In North Korea

VOA News examines the Eugene Bell Foundation’s work in North Korea to detect and treat patients with multiple-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). The foundation is treating about 600 patients in North Korea, where “[c]onditions … are ideal for the spread of TB. The climate is cold. Most citizens live and work in small spaces, and lack proper nutrition to maintain a strong immune system,” VOA writes (Herman, 11/11).

Researchers In Philippines Develop Machine To Quickly Detect Drug-Resistant TB

In this post in the Global Post’s “Global Pulse” blog, journalist John Donnelly reports on how a machine developed by researchers at the TB Laboratory at the Lung Center of the Philippines “that can detect multi-drug resistant [tuberculosis (MDR-TB)] in record time may revolutionize TB treatment.” According to the blog, the GeneXpert, dubbed by researchers as the “espresso maker,” grew out of a collaboration among partners put together by the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics in Geneva and “can detect [MDR-TB] in two hours instead of the old way of growing cultures that took two months.”

PlusNews Examines Difficulties In Diagnosing, Treating MDR-TB In Children

PlusNews examines the difficulties in diagnosing and treating multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in children, writing, “With weaker immune systems, children who contract TB — most often from parents — progress to active disease in about a year. But just how many children are affected is not known as there is almost no research into children and MDR-TB — and very little useful guidance on how to treat them.”

Indian Researchers Receive Grant To Develop ‘E-Nose’ For Quick TB Diagnosis

“Researchers are developing an electronic nose that would sniff out tuberculosis (TB) like a Breathalyzer detects alcohol, putting an end to current time-consuming tests and possibly saving hundreds of thousands of lives each year,” the Globe and Mail reports (D’Aliesio, 11/7). A team of Indian researchers is planning to have a prototype in hospitals by October 2013, after receiving a $950,000 grant on Monday from Grand Challenges Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, according to the Guardian (Tran, 11/7).

Appropriate Tests, Treatments Needed For Pediatric TB

In this post on the PLoS “Speaking of Medicine” blog, Grania Brigden, the tuberculosis (TB) adviser to the Medecins Sans Frontieres Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, writes that while “[t]his year’s Global Tuberculosis Control report shows the beginning of a decline in the global tuberculosis epidemic, … there is…

Experts Look To India To Develop Accurate, Affordable TB Diagnostics

SciDev.Net examines tuberculosis (TB) in India, which has the world’s highest TB burden, and some experts’ hopes that researchers in the country can develop accurate and affordable diagnostic test kits. “The recognition that no new anti-TB vaccine is expected before 2015 has prompted experts to pin their hopes on improving diagnosis,” the news service writes. “One cause for worry in India is a plateau in the number of new cases being detected at 87 percent of actual infections, over the past five years,” and another is the “slow rate of decline of the disease in India,” SciDev.Net notes, adding, “Despite the drawbacks, global experts at [a recent TB] conference were optimistic that Indian diagnostic companies would soon form a world hub for high-quality generic diagnostics” (Padma, 11/3).

PlusNews Reports On Importance Of Cost-Effectiveness Of ZAMSTAR Study For Policymakers, Donors Amid Economic Downturn

PlusNews reports on the results of the Zambia-South Africa TB and AIDS Reduction (ZAMSTAR) study released on Monday at the International Lung Health Conference in Lille, France, which show that “[h]ome-based tuberculosis (TB) education and testing reduced community TB prevalence by about 20 percent.” Noting that “the trial cost US$27 million [and] the interventions it piloted cost about $0.80 per patient,” the news service writes that while “the cost-effectiveness of household outreach has not yet been calculated, … [t]his will be of particular interest not only to national policymakers but also donors, who continue to tighten purse strings amid a global economic downturn” (11/1).

Science Speaks Reports Results Of Zambia-South Africa TB And AIDS Reduction Program Study

This post in the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports the results of a Zambia-South Africa TB and AIDS Reduction (ZAMSTAR) program study, released Monday, which “demonstrate that household counseling — defined as the unpacking of concerns about TB and HIV within households and facilitating prompt diagnosis and treatment…

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