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Tuberculosis (TB) Research in NIAID Labs

TB programs in NIAID laboratories comprise basic, translational, and clinical research to develop new drugs that dramatically shorten the time necessary to complete effective TB therapy. These programs also aim to increase understanding of the bacterium that causes TB, the progression of the disease, the advantages and shortcomings of current antibiotics, and the underlying reasons for the development of drug resistance.

Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases (LCID)

Clifton E. Barry III, Ph.D.

LCID scientists have been instrumental in the development of two (SQ-109 and PA-824) of the seven novel compounds against TB currently in clinical development (ref: JID 15 August 2007 [vol 196 no S1, p. 28]). Several years ago, scientists from LCID began working with colleagues from Africa and Asia on the problem of multidrug resistant (MDR) TB, and this work has evolved to investigations of extensively drug resistant (XDR) TB.

In 2006, NIAID researchers and South Korean collaborators opened a clinical study at the Masan National Tuberculosis Hospital in South Korea for MDR TB patients. Masan Hospital is the national referral center for TB treatment failures in South Korea and has the largest population of inpatient MDR TB patients anywhere in the world. Several hundred volunteers have enrolled and are being studied in an effort to understand the development of MDR TB. This group is also providing one of the first insights into a large cohort of XDR TB patients.

In 2007, as part of a consortium of scientists jointly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, LCID researchers initiated a Phase II clinical study to evaluate the effect of adding metronidazole to standard second-line TB therapy in MDR TB patients. Investigators will evaluate the safety and tolerability of metronidazole in combination with other TB drugs.

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Last Updated March 20, 2008