Study Identifies Concerning Delays in TB Diagnoses in the United States

Most delays ranged between 10 and 45 days, with a median of 24 days, after a visit to a doctor, which exceeds current World Health Organization recommendations of diagnosing and treating TB within two to three weeks of symptom onset

Delays were linked to greater risk for disease complications, transmission of infection to household members

Older individuals and those with compromised immunity were at greater risk for delayed diagnoses

Use of diagnostic molecular testing, use of chest imaging and being seen by a specialist were all linked to more prompt identification of TB infection, suggesting delays may be preventable

Findings underscore the need to increase awareness of TB among frontline clinicians who may not suspect TB due to rarity of infection in this country

To Meet HIV World Health Goals, TB Treatment Must be Maintained During COVID-19 Response

This World AIDS Day, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), of which the ATS is a founding member, is calling on governments, health advocates and non-government organizations to strengthen their response to AIDS and tuberculosis, and to ensure that TB services are maintained throughout their response to COVID-19.

Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins Medicine

Within a month following a heart attack, people are at increased risk for a second one. As a result, physicians treat these patients with medications to rapidly reduce cardiovascular risk factors for another event. Although statins are designed to reduce the risk from one underlying problem, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol, they often aren’t able drop it to recommended levels within 30 days. Now, testing a next-generation cholesterol-lowering drug known as a PCSK9 inhibitor, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers showed they could lower blood cholesterol to safer levels faster when it is added to traditional therapies.

Immune responses to tuberculosis mapped across 3 species

A new study led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis offers a genetic road map detailing the similarities and differences in immune responses to TB across three species — mice, macaques and humans. According to the researchers, the insight into the immune pathways that are activated in diverse models of TB infection will serve as a valuable tool for scientists studying and working to eradicate the disease.

Delivering TB Vaccine Intravenously Dramatically Improves Potency, Study Shows

Worldwide, more people die from tuberculosis than any other infectious disease, even though the vast majority were vaccinated. The vaccine just isn’t that reliable. But a new Nature study finds that simply changing the way the vaccine is administered could dramatically boost its protective power.

Collaboration with Texas Biomed, SwRI and UT Health San Antonio targets Bladder Cancer

The San Antonio Medical Foundation (SAMF) has awarded Texas Biomedical Research Institute Professor Jordi B. Torrelles, Ph.D., with a $173,000 grant to study a modified Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette et Guérin (BCG) vaccine shown to have promise for treating bladder cancer. BCG is a weakened strain of Mycobacterium bovis, a vaccine for tuberculosis.

Lung Lining Fluid Key to Elderly Susceptibility to Tuberculosis Disease

– Old lungs are not as capable as young lungs of fighting off an infection of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB), placing seniors at a greater risk of developing TB. The microbe that causes this infectious disease, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), currently kills more people in the world than any other pathogen. Texas Biomed researchers published an article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases in July 2019. The study details an experiment that took place in vitro (in the lab) and in vivo (in animals) that showed fluid in the lining of the lungs plays a big role in the elderly’s susceptibility to infection with the bacterium Mtb.