One of the first tasks of the NIAID-South Korean team was to oversee construction of a new biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) facility where research on MDR TB could be performed safely. The BSL-3 lab—opened at a newly founded institute, called the International Tuberculosis Research Center, adjacent to the hospital—supports clinical studies to test new drugs for both latent and MDR TB. All funding for the BSL-3 lab’s construction was provided by the South Korean Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Family Affairs.
Recently, NIAID scientists led by Clifton E. Barry III, Ph.D., have been working with colleagues at the hospital and with the manufacturers of the drugs meropenem and clavulanate to evaluate a combination of these drugs in people who have MDR or XDR TB. Laboratory tests have shown the drug combination to be effective in killing drug-susceptible strains of TB bacteria as well as XDR TB.
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Last Updated November 08, 2009