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Combatting Tuberculosis at local and international frontlines

Year:
2018
Duration:
48 months
Approved budget:
$500,000.00
Researchers:
Dr Htin Lin Aung
Health issue:
Infectious disease
Proposal type:
Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship
Lay summary
Tuberculosis (TB) is a curable disease caused mainly by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and yet paradoxically it claims over 1.5 million lives annually. Of growing concern is the prevalence of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) worldwide. In New Zealand, TB cases born outside NZ account for 78% of total cases, which have a significant effect on Maori and Pacific people (highest rates of TB cases in individuals born in NZ). Given the increased frequency of air travel and immigration from countries determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as high risk for TB and DR-TB, NZ cannot be complacent. Tackling TB at international frontlines is therefore NZ’s key to control and eliminate TB. Employing next-generation sequencing technology as a molecular weapon, this proposed study aims to understand the transmission of TB and DR-TB, which will lead to the development of rapid molecular diagnostic tools for reducing the emergence and spread of DR-TB.