Geospatial Signals in Pediatric Tuberculosis

  • Investigator: Meredith Brooks
  • Funding Source: American Lung Association

Cases of children with tuberculosis are considered sentinel events because children become sick and die with this infection much faster than adults do. Yet children have been largely neglected in the study of how tuberculosis spreads and how to control it. Active case-finding efforts are essential to detecting missing cases of tuberculosis and identifying individuals who may benefit from preventive treatment. By using information about the geographic locations and links between child and adult cases of tuberculosis, our research will make children the cornerstone of new tuberculosis surveillance methods to evaluate strategies that can promptly identify tuberculosis transmission, reduce the number of undetected tuberculosis cases and, ultimately, drive down tuberculosis rates globally.

    Tools for Transmission of Agents and Conditions (TRAC)

    • Investigator: Laura White
    • Funding Source: National Institute of General Medical Sciences

    The “Tools for Transmission of Agents and Conditions (TRAC)” program will synergize statistical and mathematical modeling work in three areas of application: 1) Tuberculosis (TB) incidence and transmission; 2) monitoring substance use disorder (SUD) patterns; and 3) SARS CoV-2 transmission modeling. These three conditions are major public health problems, with TB being a leading cause of infectious disease death globally, SUD causing more deaths in the United States than HIV/AIDS in its peak, and SARS CoV-2 causing a pandemic with societal disruption and mortality exceeding anything we have experienced in the last century. We need improved analytical tools that leverage existing data to monitor these diseases, infer transmission hot spots, determine the efficacy of interventions, and understand the burden of these conditions. The goal of this work is to develop a suite of analytical tools that leverage rapidly emerging rich data sets to improve our understanding of disease transmission patterns, monitor changing dynamics of these conditions, and understand intervention strategies that are most effective. This work will inform public health practice for these diseases and create reproducible tools that can be used in an ongoing way.

    Transmission Of Tuberculosis Among Illicit Drug Use Linkages (TOTAL)

    • Investigator: Karen Jacobson
    • Funding Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

      Tuberculosis in Teens: A Geospatial Approach to Predict Community Transmission

      • Investigator: Meredith Brooks
      • Funding Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

      Adolescents are a unique population that have been routinely neglected from tuberculosis guidelines. However, due to their ability to spread tuberculosis and their high number of social contacts, adolescents may be a key node fueling cycles of local community tuberculosis transmission in high incidence settings. Through a K01 Award from NIAID, NIH, we use geospatial and genotypic analyses to complete the following objectives: (1) To characterize the spatial heterogeneity of tuberculosis transmission events in adolescents. (2) To predict the spatial distribution of tuberculosis transmission events in adolescents. (3) To estimate and compare, through simulation, the impact of adolescent-tailored screening and treatment interventions on reducing community tuberculosis transmission.