NIAID coordinates and supports collaborative, international research programs focusing on select infectious diseases of substantial health importance in developing countries.
In fiscal year (FY) 2010, NIAID did the following:
Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the major causes of disability and death worldwide. Each year, more than 9 million people around the world become sick with TB and nearly 1.7 million people die of TB-related causes. The recent emergence of drug-resistant TB poses a major global health threat.
NIAID has a long-standing effort to understand how TB causes disease. Examples of international NIAID activities in FY 2010 include the following:
The World Health Organization estimates that almost half of all people with drug-resistant TB in 2008 were in China and India, with each reporting approximately 100,000 new cases. To address this problem, NIAID and Chinese officials with the Henan Provincial Health Bureau launched the first study of the Sino-U.S. (Henan) Tuberculosis Prevention and Treatment Research Institute in Zhengzhou, China. The Institute will develop diagnostic tools, treatment options, and prevention methods for multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant TB.
To commemorate the opening of the initial study at the Sino-U.S. (Henan) Tuberculosis Prevention and Treatment Research Institute, an NIAID delegation was joined by the U.S. Ambassador to China and representatives from other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies, Henan Provincial Health Bureau, Henan Provincial Chest Hospital, and the general public.
To help catalyze an expansion of collaborative TB and TB/HIV research in southern Africa, NIAID sponsored the US/Southern Africa Forum on Tuberculosis Research in FY 2010. The meeting was convened in South Africa and was co-hosted by NIAID, the South African Medical Research Council, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The forum focused on TB research in the southern African region and on opportunities for further international TB research cooperation. A competitive small grant program designed to assist in the formation of research partnerships in the region was developed following the forum, and six grants were awarded.
In resource-limited countries, individuals infected with both HIV and TB often seek treatment after HIV has already damaged their immune systems and patients frequently die during the first few months after beginning TB treatment. An NIAID-funded study sought to address the appropriate time to administer TB medications in HIV-infected individuals. The Cambodian Early Versus Late Introduction of Antiretroviral Drugs (CAMELIA) clinical trial showed that the survival of untreated HIV-infected adults, newly diagnosed with TB, could be prolonged by starting antiretroviral therapy two weeks after beginning TB treatment, rather than waiting the standard eight weeks.
Nearly one million people die of malaria every year, mostly infants, young children, and pregnant women, and most of them in Africa. Finding effective ways to control the disease is a high priority of NIAID.
In FY 2010, NIAID announced approximately $14 million in first-year funding to establish 10 new malaria research centers in regions where malaria is endemic, including parts of Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Latin America. The ICEMRs will generate knowledge, tools, and evidence-based strategies to control malaria. Teams of scientists involved in the ICEMR program will be conducting research in more than 20 countries.
A chemical that rids mice of malaria-causing parasites after a single oral dose may eventually become a new malaria drug. The compound, NITD609, was identified by an international team of NIAID-funded extramural and intramural investigators following an analysis of over 12,000 chemicals using a robotic screening technique customized to detect compounds active against the most deadly malaria parasite.
This promising anti-malarial drug has a mode of action that differs from the current drugs used to treat malaria. In test tube experiments, NITD609 was effective against drug-resistant malaria strains. Typically, rodents infected with the mouse malaria die within a week, but a single large dose of NITD609 cured all five infected mice that received it.
Additional tests in animals are under way, and early-stage safety tests in humans are planned for the near future. NITD609 can be formulated as a tablet and manufactured in large quantities.
Reference: M Rottmann M, McNamara C, Yeung BK, Lee MC, Zou B, Russell B, Seitz P, Plouffe DM, Dharia NV, Tan J, Cohen SB, Spencer KR, González-Páez GE, Lakshminarayana SB, Goh A, Suwanarusk R, Jegla T, Schmitt EK, Beck HP, Brun R, Nosten F, Renia L, Dartois V, Keller TH, Fidock DA, Winzeler EA, Diagana TT. Spiroindolones, a potent compound class for the treatment of malaria. Science 2010 Sep 3;329(5996):1175-80.
NIAID conducted training sessions on regional grants and contracts policy and management in Canada, China, and the United Kingdom. At these sessions, NIAID grantees were informed about policies aimed at reducing the risk of inappropriate use of NIH funds. Specific topics included:
Learn more about NIAID’s role in global research.
Last Updated April 04, 2012
Last Reviewed August 03, 2011