Professor Warwick Britton
- Should TB patients be quarantined in hospital or treated at home?
- What are the legal and ethical implications?
- How can the newest TB drugs best be managed to avoid triggering resistance in TB bacteria?
- What are the most effective ways of using the latest genomic techniques and information to combat TB?
These are just some of the questions that are becoming ever more critical as extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB looms on Australia’s horizon—it’s already in Papua New Guinea. They are also examples of the issues to be discussed on Thursday 2 May and Friday 3 May at the first symposium of the new NHMRC-funded Centre of Research Excellence in Tuberculosis Control, located at the Centenary Institute.
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: (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.
An 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.
Centenary's Tuberculosis Research Group is the largest in Australasia.
TB is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent.
In 2011, about 8.7 million people worldwide fell ill with tuberculosis and 1.4 million died.
Multi-drug resistant TB is present in almost all countries surveyed, and about nine per cent of multi-drug resistant cases are extensively drug resistant—sensitive to very few available medicines and treatments.
Centenary Scientist Dr Greg Fox in Vietnam
This week, Centenary is helping Vietnamese medical researchers to plan their next move against tuberculosis, a disease that once was Australia’s top killer and still kills 54,000 people each year in Vietnam.
Vietnam’s National Tuberculosis Program deputy head Nguyen Viet Nhung and his delegation are inspecting Centenary Institute’s new PC3 lab, meeting Australian colleagues who also work on TB visiting our research partners at the Woolcock Institute, and sharing research progress and strengthening ties.