Undernutrition Is the Original and Most Important AIDS – Dr. Pranay Sinha published in The Wire

Dr. Pranay Sinha along with Dr. Heysell, MD of the University of Virginia discuss the enduring threat of tuberculosis (TB) in the context of contemporary health challenges like COVID-19, RSV, and influenza in their recent article "Undernutrition Is the Original and Most Important AIDS," published in The Wire. See full article here: The Wire: The Wire News India, Latest News,News from India, Politics, External Affairs, Science, Economics, Gender and Culture

Announcing recent Strategic Direction Spark Award: PED-TB-CORE

We are thrilled to announce that BUSPH researchers Meredith Brooks, Helen Jenkins, and Leonardo Martinez have been awarded the pretigious Strategic Direction Spark Award to form PED-TB-CORE (PEDiatric TuBerculosis COllaborative Research Efforts).  Dr. Brittney van de Water (Assistant Professor, Connell School of Nursing, Boston College) and Dr. Refiloe Matji, MD, (AQUITY Innovations NPC, South Africa) serve as co-Investigators and other collaborators include Singilizwe Moko, PhD (Department of Health, Eastern Cape, South Africa).

PED-TB-CORE aims to develop innovative research projects to tackle pediatric TB, a globally relevant yet neglected public health issue. The Spark Award will provide essential resources to advance specific aims:

Aim 1: Comparative analysis of lung function and quality of life indicators among children with TB at different stages of treatment, offering crucial insights into the impact of TB on pediatric health outcomes.

Aim 2: Establishment of a repository of longitudinally collected blood samples from children with TB, facilitating future research into disease mechanisms, biomarkers, and therapeutic interventions.

Aim 3: Assessment of spatial mobility patterns and social interactions of children diagnosed with TB, shedding light on the social determinants and transmission dynamics of pediatric TB.

These objectives represent critical steps towards enhancing our understanding of pediatric TB and improving the lives of affected children worldwide. By leveraging the Spark Award, PED-TB-CORE aims to catalyze transformative research that will shape policies, interventions, and clinical practices in the fight against pediatric TB.

We extend our congratulations to the PED-TB-CORE team on this well-deserved recognition. This collaboration serves as a beacon of hope in the quest for a TB-free future for children everywhere. Together, let us continue to support and celebrate innovative research efforts that pave the way towards healthier, more resilient communities.

The Health & Economic Benefits of a New TB Vaccine – Dr. Portnoy featured on BFM Radio

Dr. Allison Portnoy, of Boston University School of Global Health, advocates for the imperative investment in a new tuberculosis (TB) vaccine on the latest episode of BFM Radio's 'Bigger Picture' podcast. Dr. Portnoy highlights the pivotal intersection of health and economics, emphasizing the transformative potential of this innovative vaccine. With insights honed from extensive research, she underscores the urgent need to prioritize TB prevention and control efforts, shedding light on the far-reaching benefits for both public health and global economies. Tune in to the episode for a compelling exploration of the compelling case for investing in the fight against TB.

Dr. Campbell wins CTSI award


Congratulations to Dr. Campbell who has won a CTSI Integrated Pilot Grant Award for his project, "Validity, acceptability, and utility of electronic health record household linking".

Strategies to link household members in the electronic health record (EHR) offer novel opportunities to manage illnesses within the household sphere. Health information technology has been developed to link household members in EHRs for research applications, and for maternal-neonatal clinical care. However, questions of validity of EHR-generated household links, acceptability of linkage-based clinical tools, and utility of links to generate clinically actionable data, have impeded scaling of this technology to clinical applications beyond the neonatal period. Here, we propose a mixed methods project to examine the validity, acceptability, and utility of EHR-based household links to address diagnostic gaps for one of the most prevalent long-term infectious diseases affecting BMC’s patients: latent tuberculosis (TB) infection. First, we will enroll adult and pediatric patients from BMC’s TB clinic to validate EHR-based household membership using self-reported household member lists. Second, we will conduct a qualitative study to gauge acceptability of a plausible TB-focused clinical tool that uses EHR household links. Third, we will leverage a retrospective study of TB infection care access among BMC’s patients to evaluate the utility of household linkage data to reveal household TB testing gaps. Our study will generate insights that are vital to translate this novel technology to the clinical sphere, both for patients at risk of TB infection, and for the broader research and clinical community.

Collaborators include: Dr. Karen Jacobson (BU/BMC),  Dr. Jessica Haberer (MGH) – co-I, Dr. Bob Horsburgh – co-I, Dr. Heather Hsu (BMC) – co-I, Dr. Helen Jenkins (BMC) – co-I, Dr. Vishakha Sabharwal (BMC) – co-I. Dr. Campbell is eager to include more collaborators as the project progresses!

Spring TBIG Schedule

Please find the Spring TBIG Schedule Below. All meetings will be held on Thursdays from 1-2pm in Crosstown Center (801 Mass Ave.) Conference Room 386 (3rd Floor) as well as on Zoom at the following meeting ID:

Join via Zoom

Meeting ID: 933 1888 4767 |   Passcode: tbig


Researchers Find Potential Way to Tweak Immune System to Help It Fight Tuberculosis

TB is the world’s second-deadliest infectious disease, behind COVID-19. A new BU-led study shows how to turn TB-susceptible immune cells into TB-resistant ones.

Read more here:

Estimated costs for patients with tuberculosis in LMICs (Portnoy et al., 2023)

Check out the latest study by Portnoy et al. (2023) on the economic costs of tuberculosis treatment in low- and middle-income countries. The study delves into the often-overlooked financial burdens faced by patients, even in the presence of ostensibly free treatment. By synthesizing data from 22 national surveys conducted between 2015 and 2022, the authors estimated per-patient costs across various categories—direct medical, direct non-medical, and indirect. Notably, the findings revealed that mean direct medical costs stood at US$211, while direct non-medical and indirect costs were estimated at $512 and $530 per episode of tuberculosis, respectively. The publication underscores the urgency of addressing these economic challenges to enhance accessibility to tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment, aligning with the objectives outlined in the WHO's End TB Strategy. 

Read more about this exciting work here: