This World Tuberculosis Day, we're awarding over £130,000 in funding to five new collaborative tuberculosis (TB) projects, led by mid-career researchers in Africa and the UK.
Dr Sabrina Bakeera-Kitaka from the Makerere University – Johns Hopkins University Research Collaboration and Dr Robindra Basu Roy from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine will collaborate on a research project investigating the diagnosis of tuberculosis meningitis in children.
Tuberculosis meningitis (TBM) is one of the most severe forms of TB in children, causing many to go on to develop long-term neurological conditions, or can even be lethal. TBM can be difficult to diagnose using existing tests and the development of new diagnostics could help children with TBM access the correct treatment earlier and lead to improved outcomes.
Dr Bakeera-Kitaka and Dr Basu Roy will evaluate whether new diagnostic tests can differentiate between samples from children with TBM and samples from children with other similar-appearing illnesses at Mulago National Referral Hospital in Uganda. Diagnostic tests developed in this setting are key to improving morbidity and mortality for pediatric TBM.
The team plan to build their international research networks and develop their skills through reciprocal visits between their institutions. During these visits, Dr Bakeera-Kitaka will develop her knowledge of novel molecular diagnostics in infectious diseases whilst Dr Basu Roy will gain skills and understanding of the implementation of clinical trials in a high TB-incidence setting.
This research will enable much-needed diagnostic research on one of the most severe forms of tuberculosis in children, and provide the foundations for larger studies in the future. Dr Bakeera-Kitaka and Dr Basu Roy hope this will be the first of many collaborations together.
This project has been funded by the 2020 Dorothy Temple Cross International Collaboration Grant.
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