Simple cough could save lives from TB

A community-wide screening program being trialled in Vietnam aims to create a new model for global TB control

In the 1950s and 1960s Australians were accustomed to having regular chest x-rays in a caravan, parked in their suburb, to screen for TB. During this time TB almost (but not quite) disappeared from Australia and the program was phased out.

Centre of Research Excellence on TB Control

Centre of Research Excellence on TB Control: (Back left) Dr James Wood; Professor Warwick Britton; Associate Professor Ben Marais; Associate Professor Jamie Triccas; Dr Carl Feng. (Front left) Professor Guy Marks; Professor Lyn Gilbert; Dr Gabriella Scandurra.

Now Australian researchers from the Centenary Institute, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and the Centre of Research Excellence on TB Control will assess the potential for a similar program of regular community-wide screening to have the same impact on TB in Vietnam, a country in which TB is still very common and costs many lives. However, instead of x-rays the team will use a new molecular test that is performed on sputum coughed up from patient’s lungs to detect TB.

They hope their work will serve as a model for countries with a high burden of TB in our region and elsewhere.

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Preventable liver disease costs more than diabetes

Sydney team hopes to reduce the burden with research-led intervention

Professor Geoff McCaughan

Professor Geoff McCaughan

Liver diseases have an impact on the Australian economy 40 per cent greater than chronic kidney disease and Type 2 diabetes combined, according to a report released today.

The report estimates the annual burden of liver diseases in Australia at more than $50 billion. And yet almost all liver disease is preventable.

The Centenary Institute’s liver research unit is one of the biggest in Australia. It is also one of first in the world to try to come to grips with liver damage at its most fundamental molecular level.

Head of research into liver disease and damage at Centenary, Professor Geoff McCaughan, and his team are focusing their research on promoting liver health, and understanding how chronic liver damage can develop into liver cancer. Continue reading

A boost in the fight against the killer on our doorstep

The Centre for Excellence in Tuberculosis ControlAn initiative to stop the spread of TB in Australia, and reduce its impact on our neighbours.

A $2.5 million, six-nation initiative to fight tuberculosis has opened at the Centenary Institute, Sydney. It brings together over 14 institutes.

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Sydney scientists on the hunt for faster TB diagnosis for China’s millions of TB cases

Dr Simone Barry

When not in China, Dr Simone Barry is at the Centenary Institute, passionately researching into tuberculosis.

China’s Ningxia Hospital sees more TB cases a year than the whole of Australia.

A new project at the hospital, in collaboration with researchers from the Centenary Institute in Sydney, aims to identify a new way of diagnosing TB and monitoring response to treatment. The research is funded in part by the Australian Respiratory Council.

The Ningxia Infectious Diseases Hospital sees as many as 1,300 new cases of TB each year. ‘Treating that many cases is difficult with limited resources.

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Faulty memory can be bad for your health

Melanoma

Dr Elena Shklovskaya has just been awarded a three year grant by the Cancer Council NSW.

How is the memory of our immune system controlled?  And how does it actually remember what has previously infected the body?

An immune system with a bad memory can overlook chronic infections, allowing the development of cancers and autoimmune diseases, and trigger the rejection of transplants.

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Insight Centenary: Where’s my hoverboard?

Centenary Institute

When will ‘Back to the Future’ be our actual future?

The February edition of the ‘Insight Centenary’ blog series, features our liver cell biology postdoctoral research officer, Thomas Tu, who tells us that scientists do want hoverboards and explains why they’re not here – yet.

Insight Centenary blogs are written by Centenary scientists about their perspectives on science and medical research – and why it’s their passion. // Please show your support for Centenary scientists this World TB Day (24 March) at tb.org.au.

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