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Combatting mate kohi (tuberculosis) on the home front

36 months
Approved budget:
Mr Callum August
Dr Htin Lin Aung
Professor Gregory Cook
Mr Gregory Gimenez
Dr Anneka Anderson
Mr Howard Maxwell
Dr Veronica Playle
Health issue:
Infectious disease
Proposal type:
Māori Health PhD Scholarship
Lay summary
Mate kohi (tuberculosis/TB) is a significant disease worldwide, which has been almost eliminated from New Zealand. Here in Aotearoa, TB infects Māori at a rate 6 times higher than Europeans. My research is focused on decreasing these inequalities in Aotearoa. To ensure equitable health outcomes, what causes the increased burden of TB in Maori communities must be understood. My proposed research will investigate bacterial genetic factors in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) Rangipo strain to identify if this strain is more virulent than other strains. I will refine the origins and common ancestors of this endemic strain to understand how this strain was dispersed and is maintained among Maori communities, to improve strategies for TB control. I will also engage with Maori communities to identify sociocultural factors that result in TB transmission. This research will link the laboratory with the community to improve health outcomes in our communities.