Tuberculosis patients may soon receive treatments specially tailored to their DNA, an international research team has revealed. Dr Sarah Dunstan, Head of Human Genetics at Oxford University Vietnam, said: 'It's like a "Goldilocks" gene. Depending on what versions of the LTA4H gene you have inherited, you could see an inflammatory response to tuberculosis that is "too much", "too little", or "just right".'
Fake and poor quality anti-malarial drugs are threatening efforts to control the disease in Africa and could put millions of lives at risk, says lead researcher on the study, Dr Paul Newton.
Eurartesim®, an artemisinin combination therapy, has been approved by the European Commission for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Wellcome Trust-funded research played a key part in the early development of this combination drug.
In the mid-19th century, John Snow mapped cases of cholera in Soho, London, and traced the source of the outbreak to a contaminated water pump. Now, in a 21st-century equivalent, scientists funded by the Wellcome Trust working in Kathmandu, Nepal, have combined the latest in gene sequencing technology and global positioning system (GPS) case localisation to map the spread of typhoid and trace its source.
Dr Tran Tinh Hien, director of clinical research programs tropical disease research at the University of Oxford in Ho Chi Minh, discusses the findings with the BBC. This article has been automatically translated from Vietnamese to English. To view the original vietnamese text use the link at the top right of the page.
Tracking the emergence and spread of resistance to artemisinin is challenging due to the complexity of measuring drug efficacy. Parasite clearance (the rate at which parasitaemia declines) in response to artemisinin treatment has been the principal measure of drug efficacy to date and the only indicator of treatment response change. However, clearance estimation is complicated by a lag phase, often seen before the parasite count falls, which needs to be identified by an observer, leading to possible inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the results. To address this problem WWARN has launched the Parasite Clearance Estimator, a tool which identifies lag phase from the best fitting polynomial model and calculates clearance estimates adjusting for this lag phase.
“When is a disease not a disease?” sounds like a childhood riddle. One answer, though, might be, “when it is vivax malaria.” Numbers are hard to come by, but Ric Price, of Oxford University, reckons that between 80m and 390m people suffer the effects of vivax every year. Source: The Economist, 26th May 2011
The AQUAMAT Study Group’s landmark paper has been shortlisted for the Research Paper of the Year category at the British Medical Journal Group Awards 2011.
Hopes still high that killer can be beaten. The death rate is falling, but chances of eradication are tempered by realities of cost and science. Source: Financial Times Special Report, 21st April 2011
Sam Kariuki is a Chief Research Scientist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Nairobi and a Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute International Fellow. Sam Kariuki. Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute International Fellow. The Global Health Initiative's International Fellowships enable two leading researchers in developing countries to use the Institute's resources to investigate the genomic basis of global health issues and build research capacity. By fostering partnerships and sharing our genomic facilities and techniques with researchers in the developing world, we are able to combine unique disease insights and expertise that come only from working and living in regions where the disease burden is at its highest with our genomic expertise and techniques to tackle major medical problems.