Annual community-wide screening for tuberculosis almost halves the number of cases of the deadly disease, a four-year study by Australian and Vietnamese researchers has found.
Globally significant findings from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, in close collaboration with the Centenary Institute in Sydney and the National Lung Hospital in Vietnam, shows a pathway towards the eventual elimination of this global scourge.
The study, involving 100,000 people in Vietnam, found community-wide active case finding was 44 per cent more effective than standard passive case detection alone in reducing the prevalence of tuberculosis in the general population. Importantly, the active case finding intervention halved rates of TB infection among school-aged children.
“Our findings show that, with existing tests and treatments used in innovative ways, we can achieve the sort of impact on TB that makes it possible to consider the elimination of this dreadful disease,” says study leader, Woolcock epidemiologist and respiratory physician Professor Guy Marks. “Community-wide screening can interrupt the cycle of active disease and infection that perpetuates the deadly tuberculosis epidemic.“
Professor Warwick Britton, Centenary Institute’s Head of Tuberculosis Research Program said, “Tuberculosis takes a huge toll in human suffering and economic impact on communities worldwide. The important findings from this study demonstrate the effectiveness of a new approach to tuberculosis control. It highlights the value of collaboration between our Vietnamese colleagues and researchers in the Woolcock and Centenary Institutes.”
Read the full media release from the Woolcock Institute here: https://woolcock.org.au/news-4/australian-trial-halves-tb-study
The paper, ‘Community-wide Screening for Tuberculosis in a High-Prevalence Setting’, can be viewed online at the New England Journal of Medicine: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1902129
Professor John Rasko AO has led a world-first clinical trial into engineered stem cell treatment use, treating 15 patients with steroid resistant acute graft-versus-host disease.
Centenary Institute research has discovered that the lack of an enzyme in the liver called sphingosine kinase 2 results in pronounced insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, both symptoms of early stage type 2 diabetes.
Research led by the Centenary Institute has shown that a healthy weight and coffee consumption may help lower the risk of high-risk drinkers developing alcohol-induced cirrhosis.