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Einstein awarded NIH grant to study drug-resistant TB
Date:6/2/2010

racts XDR-TB through person-to-person transmission due to prolonged hospital stays for other medical conditions, for example is more likely to develop active XDR-TB than a person without HIV.

Efforts to curb the growing XDR-TB epidemic currently focus primarily on preventing amplified resistance: healthcare workers directly observe patients to ensure they adhere to their medication regimen. But if person-to-person transmission turns out to be the major source of drug-resistant TB, public health agencies will have to adjust their XDR-TB control efforts by emphasizing measures that prevent people from infecting others, including earlier diagnosis and treatment and more rigorous infection control measures. The findings would be applicable throughout sub-Saharan Africa, where the TB epidemic follows patterns similar to those in Tugela Ferry.

To determine how person-to-person XDR-TB transmission is most likely to occur within families, among co-workers, or perhaps among people admitted to the hospital at the same time Dr. Shah will combine classic contact investigation methods with advanced epidemiologic techniques (including molecular genotyping) and social network analysis. Molecular genotyping will allow the researchers to identify clusters of particular strains of XDR-TB.

"Then, using contact investigation and social network analysis, we'll investigate how the people in those clusters are linked," said Dr. Shah, noting that this is the first time such an approach will be used to study TB transmission in a population with a high prevalence of HIV.

"Working in Tugela Ferry ground zero for the emerging XDR-TB epidemic Dr. Shah has been at the forefront of understanding the deadly duet between TB and HIV," said Harris Goldstein, M.D., professor of pediatrics and of microbiology & immunology at Einstein and director of the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), which coordinates the diverse AIDS research efforts at Einstein and Montefiore
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Contact: Deirdre Branley
sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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Einstein awarded NIH grant to study drug-resistant TB
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