Tuberculosis (TB) at UCL
UCL-TB connects researchers in UCL and across their networks with the aim of improving research into TB, dissemination of research outcomes and new funding opportunities for research groups.
17 March 2015
UCL Researchers publish two papers in The Lancet
International researchers led by Professor Ali Zumla have this week published two sentinel papers in The Lancet journals which highlight a huge undiagnosed burden of tuberculosis, and call for more investments into more proactive screening for tuberculosis and increased research for developing shorter, more effective treatments to reduce the burden of multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis.
In their autopsy study of adult inpatients at University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, the researchers found that tuberculosis was the commonest cause of death and that a huge load of tuberculosis and multi-drug resistant TB was missed ante-mortem and only diagnosed at autopsy. These data suggest that current global estimates of TB by the WHO at 9 million people with active tuberculosis in 2013 and 1.5 million people dying of it are ‘underestimates’ and the investigators call for a high degree of clinical awareness for diagnosing tuberculosis, and for increased governmental investments into health services for more proactive screening for tuberculosis. and the data could unlock further investments into health services.
In a ‘state of the art’ paper on TB treatment and Management, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Professor Ali Zumla and his international collaborators said treatment success rates of MDR and XDR tuberculosis are unacceptably low and the development of new, more effective tuberculosis drugs and adjunct host-directed therapies to improve treatment outcomes is urgently required. They give an update on new drug development and summarise the results of several phase 2 and phase 3 tuberculosis treatment trials; stating that the failure of moxifloxacin and gatifloxacin to shorten the duration of therapy was disappointing.
They point out that in light of the ‘sparse’ new TB drug pipeline there is an urgent need for increased investments into the development of new anti-tuberculosis drugs, adjunct therapies and vaccines, coupled with visionary political leadership for more investments into health services as “the best chance to change the ‘unacceptable status quo’ of the tuberculosis situation worldwide and the growing problem of drug-resistant tuberculosis.”
- Autopsies and better data on causes of death in Africa (The Lancet)
- Tuberculosis treatment and management—an update on treatment regimens, trials, new drugs, and adjunct therapies (The Lancet)
Ali Zumla's team wins UCLH Excellence Award
The "UCLH Celebrating Excellence Awards: Contribution to World Class Research" recognises individuals or teams who have shown remarkable achievements in delivering innovative, world-class research at UCLH and in meeting objectives set out by both the Trust and the National Institute for Health Research. We are extremely pleased to announce that UCL-TB steering group member Prof Zumla and the UNZA-UCLMS and RiD-RTI teams were given this prestigious award at at a ceremony on the 11th of March 2015. You can find more at www.uclh.nhs.uk/wwus/CEA/Pages/Home.aspx
3 March 2015
Culture-free whole genome sequencing of M.tb: from crypts to clinics
Researchers in the Department of Infection and Immunity as part of an EU funded consortium (www.ucl.ac.uk/pathseek) have successfully developed a system where full genomes of M.tb can be sequenced directly from clinical samples, without the need to culture. This technology is based on oligonucleotide enrichment using RNA baits designed against the M.tb genome, and can be applied to DNA extracted directly from clinical samples. In a pilot study on 25 patient’s sputum samples, it was shown to produce the same quality and quantity of data that could be achieved via standard practices relying on culture (publication under review). This technique will now be applied to a further two studies. The first of these, funded by the BRC, will compare the accuracy and turnaround of this new methodology to MGIT, culture sequencing and phenotypic antimicrobial resistance testing for the identification of M.tb antimicrobial resistance. Samples will be collected prospectively from six hospitals across London and when available, longitudinal samples from individual patients will be prioritised so that there will be an opportunity to study the evolution of M.tb within patients. In a second project, this technique will be used to sequence M.tb from samples of a completely different kind. In collaboration with Mark Pallen (University of Warwick) complete M.tb genomes have already been successfully extracted from the remains of two 200-year old Mummys. Further sequencing of ancient samples, in collaboration with Francois Balloux and Helen Donoghue (UCL), will hopefully reveal insights into the deep evolutionary past of M.tb. For further information please contact Judith Breuer (email@example.com)
27 February 2015
PanACEA MAMS-TB-01 finds high-dose rifampicin may help shorten TB treatment
At the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), PanACEA, the Pan-African Consortium for the Evaluation of Antituberculosis Antibiotics, presented the results of its most recent phase IIb study (MAMS-TB-01). The most exciting finding from the study is that high-dose rifampicin results in faster killing of TB bacilli during treatment, compared to the current standard treatment.
Chief Investigator Martin Boeree (Radboud University Nijmegen) says: “This is the largest reduction in time to culture conversion seen in any previous TB trial, to our knowledge. High doses of rifampicin may be an important component in shorter TB regimens in the future.”
The PanACEA consortium (http://panacea-tb.net/) is a partnership of 11 African and 7 European institutions. UCL is a major partner with the MRC-CTU at UCL (Patrick Phillips, Sunita Rehal) and the Centre for Clinical Microbiology (Timothy McHugh, Alimuddin Zumla).
You can view the webcast at www.croiwebcasts.org/console/player/25685?mediaType=slideVideo&
23 February 2015
Dr Sanjib Bhakta chairing TB Summit and delivery World TB Day Lecture
Dr Sanjib Bhakta (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/biology/our-staff/academic/sanjib-bhakta) will be chairing the TB Summit 2015 (https://www.regonline.co.uk/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1530202: 24th – 26th March at O2 Arena, Greenwich peninsula, London) organised to commemorate the World TB Day this year. This international summit is organised successfully by EuroSciCon (http://euroscicon.com/) over the last three years in London. A meeting report will be published to a peer-reviewed journal like previous years (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25003368).
Dr Bhakta will also be delivering a TB Day public lecture and jointly presenting an on-going Science Project with the Year-11 students of St Mary’s School, Buckinghamshire (http://www.stmarysschool.co.uk/). The School won the “You Can Initiative Award 2014/15” from British Institute of Technology and E-Commerce (http://www.bite.ac.uk/index.php) on “TB or not TB” led by Dr Bhakta. This project aims towards repurposing existing drugs to treat TB as well as to tackle antibiotic resistance in TB.
Dr Bhakta recently wrote a review article entitled “Repurposing - a ray of hope in tackling extensively drug resistance in TB” which is accepted for publication at International Journal of Infectious Diseases (http://www.ijidonline.com/) on a special issue to be published on the World TB Day 2015 (http://events.ucl.ac.uk/event/event:l6k-i56ldg6e-pc6cp5) jointly organised by UCL-TB and LSHTM-TB.
Dr Bhakta, a core member of UCL-TB, is currently a Reader in Molecular Microbiology at the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, Birkbeck, University of London and Honorary Senior lecturer at three research departments of UCL (Research Department of Structural and Molecular Biology, Department of Infection and UCL-School of Pharmacy). He is also a Cipla Distinguished Fellow in Pharmaceutical Sciences and “Antibiotic Action Champion” Member of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (http://bsac.org.uk/). To find more information about Dr Bhakta and ISMB-Mycobacteria Research Lab’s TB research and outreach activities follow: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Sanjib-Bhakta-PhD-DPhil-Oxford/1402960816587288.
17 February 2015
World TB Day 2015: What do we need to know to reach, treat and cure everyone with TB?
Date: Tuesday 24 March
Venue: UCL Institute of Child Health
Registration is now open for the joint UCL-TB and LSHTM TB Centre event World TB Day 2015: What do we need to know to reach, treat and cure everyone with TB?, which will take place on Tuesday 24 March at the UCL Institute of Child Health, London.
The event will bring together world-renowned national and international experts to present the latest research working towards reaching, treating and curing people with tuberculosis, to highlight key issues facing TB researchers, and to explore possible solutions.
The meeting will also review the new Public Health England and NHS England collaborative five year national strategy to eliminate TB, as its implementation begins. This is the first time the UK has had a national strategy so the event will provide TB specialists the unique opportunity to come together and discuss how best to implement the strategy, and identify possible risks and opportunities.
For more information and to register to attend, please click on the following link:
Through bringing a wide range of researchers together we aim to encourage cross-disciplinary links and collaborations between scientists and clinicians at the forefront of the TB field, with the hope of cultivating innovative new research projects and ultimately improving patient outcomes in London and across the world.
We very much hope to welcome you on Tuesday 24 March for what is sure to be a fascinating day.
UCL & LSHTM World TB Day organising committee:
- Professor Ibrahim Abubakar (UCL)
- Dr Katherine Fielding (LSHTM)
- Dr Helen Fletcher (LSHTM)
- Dr Marc Lipman (UCL)
- Professor Timothy McHugh (UCL)
- Professor David Moore (LSHTM)
- Professor Ali Zumla (UCL)
2 February 2015
New coordinator appointed for UCL-TB
Kim Morgan has just joined UCL-TB as coordinator, having previously worked in the Division of Psychiatry at UCL. Kim has a background in marketing and communications and research administration. "I'm very excited about working on such a high-profile subject and with some of the leading researchers in the field. Our recent outstanding ranking in the research excellence framework (REF) scores shows the strength of our research at UCL and I'm very much looking forward to supporting the tb community to build on that work and develop a network that supports researchers working in tuberculosis."
North London TB Journal Club
4-5pm, 5 February 2015
Why does HIV so dramatically increase susceptibility to TB?
Why do HIV positive people remain more susceptible once established on antiretrovirals? Join us to learn more about alveolar macrophages, T cells and the immune response to mycobacteria.Paper: Jambo et al. Asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy exhibit impaired lung CD4(+) T-cell responses to mycobacteria. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2014; 190(8): 938-47 [available here]. Presenter: James Brown, University College London Chair: Marc Lipman, University College London Time: 4-5pm, 5 February 2015 Venue: Tutorial Room 1, lower ground floor, Royal Free Hospital.Tutorial Room 1 is on the Lower Ground Floor at the Royal Free Hospital. For a more detailed view, please click on the map northlondontb.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/royal-free-hospital-lg-map.jpg. For directions to the Royal Free Hospital, please go to www.royalfree.nhs.uk/contact-us/getting-to-our-hospitals/how-to-get-to-royal-free-hospital
4-5pm, 5 February 2015
Why does HIV so dramatically increase susceptibility to TB? Why do HIV positive people remain more susceptible once established on antiretrovirals? Join us to learn more about alveolar macrophages, T cells and the immune response to mycobacteria.
Paper: Jambo et al. Asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy exhibit impaired lung CD4(+) T-cell responses to mycobacteria. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2014; 190(8): 938-47 [available here].
Presenter: James Brown, University College London
Chair: Marc Lipman, University College London
Time: 4-5pm, 5 February 2015
Venue: Tutorial Room 1, lower ground floor, Royal Free Hospital.
Tutorial Room 1 is on the Lower Ground Floor at the Royal Free Hospital. For a more detailed view, please click on the map [https://northlondontb.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/royal-free-hospital-lg-map.jpg]. For directions to the Royal Free Hospital, please click here [https://www.royalfree.nhs.uk/contact-us/getting-to-our-hospitals/how-to-get-to-royal-free-hospital/].
Tell us about your latest projects and events related to TB or ask us a question about TB.
Please contact UCL-TB administrator Kim Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org
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Page last modified on 29 jan 15 16:32