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Int J Infect Dis ; 2022 Mar 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1739796


OBJECTIVES: Investments into 'Blue Skies' fundamental TB research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have not been forthcoming. We highlight why blue skies research will be essential for achieving global TB control and eradicating TB. METHODS: We review the historical background to early TB discovery research and give examples of where investments into basic science and fundamental 'blue skies research' are delivering novel data and approaches to advance diagnosis, management and holistic care for patients with active and latent TB infection. FINDINGS: The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that making available adequate funding for priority investments into 'Blue skies research' to delineate scientific understanding of a new infectious diseases threat to global health security can lead to rapid development and rollout of new diagnostic platforms, treatments, and vaccines. Several advances in new TB diagnostics, new treatments and vaccine development are underpinned by basic science research. CONCLUSIONS: Blue Skies research is required to pave the way for a personalized medicine approach for management of TB and other Respiratory Tract Infections and preventing long-term functional disability. Transfer of skills and resources by wealthier nations is required to empower researchers in LMICs countries to engage in and lead Blue Skies research.

Int J Infect Dis ; 113 Suppl 1: S7-S12, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573985


The October 2020 Global TB report reviews TB control strategies and United Nations (UN) targets set in the political declaration at the September 2018 UN General Assembly high-level meeting on TB held in New York. Progress in TB care and prevention has been very slow. In 2019, TB remained the most common cause of death from a single infectious pathogen. Globally, an estimated 10.0 million people developed TB disease in 2019, and there were an estimated 1.2 million TB deaths among HIV-negative people and an additional 208, 000 deaths among people living with HIV. Adults accounted for 88% and children for 12% of people with TB. The WHO regions of South-East Asia (44%), Africa (25%), and the Western Pacific (18%) had the most people with TB. Eight countries accounted for two thirds of the global total: India (26%), Indonesia (8.5%), China (8.4%), the Philippines (6.0%), Pakistan (5.7%), Nigeria (4.4%), Bangladesh (3.6%) and South Africa (3.6%). Only 30% of the 3.5 million five-year target for children treated for TB was met. Major advances have been development of new all oral regimens for MDRTB and new regimens for preventive therapy. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic dislodged TB from the top infectious disease cause of mortality globally. Notably, global TB control efforts were not on track even before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many challenges remain to improve sub-optimal TB treatment and prevention services. Tuberculosis screening and diagnostic test services need to be ramped up. The major drivers of TB remain undernutrition, poverty, diabetes, tobacco smoking, and household air pollution and these need be addressed to achieve the WHO 2035 TB care and prevention targets. National programs need to include interventions for post-tuberculosis holistic wellbeing. From first detection of COVID-19 global coordination and political will with huge financial investments have led to the development of effective vaccines against SARS-CoV2 infection. The world now needs to similarly focus on development of new vaccines for TB utilizing new technological methods.

COVID-19 , Tuberculosis, Miliary , Adult , Child , Humans , Nigeria , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2