Ending TB through enhanced research capacity
Tuberculosis (TB) is a curable and preventable bacterial infection that most often affects the lungs. It is also one of the world’s most deadly infectious diseases. About 1.4 million people worldwide died from TB in 2015, and of the estimated 10.4 million new cases, 60 percent were in six countries: China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa. There is an urgent need for high-quality TB research in the countries most affected.
FHI 360 is breaking down the barriers to TB control by building clinical research capacity in high-burden countries. We are leading a consortium of scientists working in Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa who share data and research to find reliable TB biomarkers. A biomarker is an indicator of the severity or presence of disease that enables scientists to measure the progress of disease and evaluate the most effective therapeutic regimens. Through this consortium, scientists are now working toward being able to predict the progression from latent to active TB and the subsequent cure, relapse or failure of the disease — vital information needed to develop innovative diagnostic tools and new drugs. In China, we are helping to build that country’s capacity to obtain quality data with consistency through the China TB Clinical Trials Consortium. The consortium now works in 19 sites to provide mentoring and advice on the critical aspects of maintaining a successful TB clinical trial network.
Both consortia contribute to the development of shorter, more efficacious and safer TB treatment and prevention regimens that can bring lifesaving treatments and diagnostics to people who need them the most. These actions bring us closer to achieving the World Health Organization’s goal to end the global TB epidemic by 2035.
Regional Prospective Observational Research in Tuberculosis (RePORT) International Coordinating Center (RICC), China TB Clinical Trial Consortium (CTCTC)
U.S. National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Division of AIDS)
The China Tuberculosis Clinical Trials Consortium
FHI 360 began the China Tuberculosis Clinical Trials Consortium to improve TB studies in that country as researchers struggled to obtain consistent quality data. Since 2013, this consortium has worked to develop a TB clinical trials research platform that meets international standards and is thus able to enroll participants in global, multicenter studies designed to address major gaps in TB knowledge.
Photo credit: Jessica Scranton/FHI 360