The Global Childhood TB Program has focused on the development of research infrastructure at our African partner sites and expanded efforts to support the 8 clinical research sites located in 7 countries (BIPAI). The TB Program has also conducted trainings, improved standardization, and enhanced the existing Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system to effectively capture outcome data regarding TB and other common HIV-comorbidities.
In collaboration with colleagues from IUATLD, McGill University, and The Cochrane Collaboration, the Director of the TB Program, Dr. Mandalakas, was commissioned by the WHO to conduct a systematic review of the literature to inform guidance on WHO policy on the use of Gene Xpert.
Through partnership with the collaborative research network, Baylor-UTHouston Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and other partner institutions to provide linkage of new and established researchers, the Global Childhood TB program has successfully attracted a new cadre of investigators to collaborate in TB-related research and expand capacity at our existing and newly established research centers.
In 2015, the Global Childhood TB Program focuses on the development of pediatric TB research, expanding clinical research in Houston and globally, and supporting the staff and students in developing TB/HIV research interests. The Director of the TB Program, Dr. Anna Mandalakas was approached to review the pediatric data in relation to their Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) for TB infection called TSpot. Meanwhile, Dr. DiNardo performed quality assurance of immunologic laboratory procedures in and developed protocols for use in the new TB facility.
Additional research activities included Dr. Mandalakas giving a presentation over past research at the Baylor-UT Houston Center AIDS Research (CFAR), Dr. Mandalakas and Dr. DiNardo attending and giving a presentation on TB immunology research at the Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular. Further, Dr. Mandalakas and Katherine Ngo met with partners in the Baylor-UT Houston CFAR to discuss ways to improve the program and future implementation, also met with stakeholders for their support and collaboration on a D43 HIV/TB training grant. Partners include the University of Botswana School of Medicine, Ministry of Health Laboratory, and TB and HIV programs.