Tuberculosis research:

Innovations in TB Diagnostics

  • TB diagnosis and testing for drug-resistance usually requires a laboratory and we have developed simple colour-change tests that are being evaluated in clinics (more detail…)
  • Simply monitoring weight loss over the first weeks of TB treatment predicts treatment failure and drug-resistance more rapidly and reliably than existing methods (more detail…)
  • TB from swallowed sputum can be detected in stool—important for diagnosing children too young to provide sputum (more detail…)

Investigating links between poverty and TB

  • TB principally affects poorly nourished people and we are evaluating whether nutritional fortification with vitamins prevents TB (more detail…)
  • People often catch TB in over-crowded hospitals but this can be prevented by UV lights, negative air ionizers and by enhanced natural ventilation (more detail…)
  • Worm infections suppress TB immunity and deworming boosts anti-TB immunity—a discovery with important implications for controlling the TB epidemic (more detail…)

Ongoing Work and Future Plans

Since 2007, our project “Innovative Socio-economic Interventions Against TB (ISIAT)” evaluated socioeconomic interventions to fight poverty and increase equitable access to TB care. Socioeconomic support increased testing for TB and HIV, successful treatment completion and also equitable access to TB prevention. Put into context, these exciting results show that a simple and inexpensive socioeconomic intervention can achieve results even better than some new tests and pills. But can socioeconomic interventions help to control TB?


NEW PROJECT. Thanks to these encouraging results, the Joint Global Health Trials consortium of the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council and the Department For International Development of the British Government (UK-AID) together with the World Bank are funding us to do a new 6-year project. This will rigorously assess the impact of the most effective of the socioeconomic interventions from this current “ISIAT” trial. Importantly, we will assess impact not just on poverty and access to TB care but also on actual TB control for whole communities.

One of the project nurses meeting with a patient in their home.

One of the project nurses meeting with a patient in their home.