Brief news reports on Tuberculosis

Update of the WHO guidance on the treatment of drug susceptible TB

The World Health Organization (WHO) is convening a Guideline Development Group (GDG) to advise on updates needed to its recommendations on the treatment of drug susceptible tuberculosis (TB).

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Study on TB in Africa reveals a new lineage in the eastern part of the continent

Mireia Coscollá, a researcher at the Institute for Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio), a joint centre of the University of Valencia and the Spanish National Research Council, has led a study on the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, one of the 10 deadliest diseases in the world, which proves the existence of a new lineage. After analysing 675 African genomes in an article published in the journal Microbial Genomics, he concludes that the new lineage, named L9, is located mainly in the eastern part of the continent.

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Webinar: WHO review of National TB Programs

On 22 April 2021, the TB Europe Coalition in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, invites civil society and TB-affected community from Eastern Europe and Central Asia countries to join a capacity building online event 'Exploring practical opportunities for civil society and TB-affected community through WHO National TB Program reviews to improve collaboration and accountability'.

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A persistent shortfall in TB research and development funding

NEW YORK (April 15, 2021) — The 2020 G-Finder Report, released today, shows that low funding levels are putting life-saving science—and especially the most vulnerable—at risk. Global investments in tuberculosis (TB) research and development (R&D) funding totaled of $670 million in 2019. This is far short of the estimated $2.16 billion that the Stop TB Partnership estimates is needed annually to develop and deliver new tools that can end the TB pandemic, which causes illness in 10 million people each year. These tools include effective vaccines, diagnostics and drug regimens.

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Starving TB of sugars may be a new way to fight it

- Tuberculosis is one of the leading causes of death from a single infectious agent in the world, but the nutrients that the pathogen uses to survive in the body is poorly understood
- The bacteria that cause tuberculosis need a sugar called trehalose to survive and cause infection
- The molecular basis of how Mycobacterium tuberculosis uses and transports trehalose has been discovered by researchers from the University of Warwick
- This ignites new opportunities to develop new drugs and diagnostics targeted against TB

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Indonesia, Germany and Global Fund sign new debt swap agreement to fight TB

JAKARTA, 14 April 2021 – Germany, Indonesia, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today signed a new agreement that will increase support to tuberculosis programs in Indonesia. That will be achieved by converting €50 million of debt owed by Indonesia to Germany into investments in public health programs supported by the Global Fund in Indonesia.

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Disrupted movement makes macrophages more lethal to TB bacteria

Macrophages – the front line of our immune system – protect us from infections. But in the case of the tuberculosis bacteria, this often goes wrong. The group of Annemarie Meijer from the Leiden Institute of Biology has now discovered that macrophages in zebrafish are better able to eliminate tuberculosis bacteria if they lack a certain receptor. The research, published in the journal Cell Reports, may contribute to new treatment strategies for tuberculosis.

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BioVersys receives €20 million in EU financing to support development of new antibiotics

-- European Investment Bank and BioVersys sign a financing agreement of up to €20 million to facilitate the development of new treatments against life-threatening resistant bacterial infections.
-- The venture debt loan is financed under the Infectious Diseases Finance Facility set up as part of Horizon 2020, the European Union’s research and innovation programme for 2014-2020.
-- BioVersys has a rich pipeline of drugs in clinical development for the treatment of tuberculosis and hospital-acquired infections, like ventilator-associated pneumonia, seen most recently in COVID-19 patients in intensive care. The company has additional preclinical assets and follow-on programmes all focusing on different unmet medical needs in antimicrobial resistance.

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A blood test to find those at high risk of TB in people living with HIV

The Lancet Global Health journal reports the findings of a study of a host blood test that can find those at high risk of tuberculosis in people living with HIV. The blood mRNA biomarker differentiated between people living with HIV who had active tuberculosis from those without TB, and predicted which individuals would develop TB within 15 months.

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New research shows how immune response to TB differs in babies

The immune response to tuberculosis (TB) differs in adults and newborn babies due to the way immune cells use energy to kick into gear in a bid to kill the bacteria. This fresh discovery – just published in leading journal, Frontiers in Immunology – offers hope for improving treatments for what remains a deadly disease.

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