TB: Droplet Study – Effect of variations in bio-aerosol production on TB infectivity
The study is funded by the Clinical Research and Development Committee (CRDC), part of UCLH charities.
Tuberculosis (TB) transmits via bio-aerosols. “Bio-aerosols” are submicron particles (<1µm diameter) of lung mucus containing glycoproteins, surfactant and pathogens formed in the respiratory tract. The vast majority of these particles are exhaled during normal breathing. Our previous work using Optical Particle Counter technology shows substantial variations in bio-aerosol production amongst healthy volunteers.
The study aims to address whether variations in bio-aerosol production in TB patients act as a source of heterogeneity in infectivity.
This is a cohort study of pulmonary and non-pulmonary TB patients. Bio-aerosol measurements will be collected from pulmonary cases over 6 months. Exhaled breath of sputum smear positive cases at diagnosis will be examined using PCR to look for evidence of Mycobacteria tuberculosis in the aerosol component of exhaled breath. It will include a cross-sectional study of pulmonary patients and their contacts already on treatment will be followed up until the end of their treatment regime.
Pam Sonnenberg is the Chief Investigator. Principal Investigators are Andrew Hayward and Helen Booth. Fatima Wurie is the Study Coordinator.
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