International URBAN ARCH Center Core and Project Updates

Administrative Core

The Admin Core has been hard at work planning meetings, monitoring study progress, and coordinating events for the URBAN ARCH Training & Mentoring Program. Read more about the program and our upcoming events for trainees and early-stage investigators here. We have been working with the BMC Laboratory and Biorepository Research Services (LABS) Core, who will take over management of the URBAN ARCH sample repository. The team has also started to think about next year’s URBAN ARCH Annual Meeting, which will take place in late May. Stay tuned for more details!

BDM Core

BDM Core members have been collaborating regularly with the TRAC study team to address various study design issues that arise and monitor study conduct. The Core also continues to meet regularly with the Admin Core to monitor and plan overall center activities. In July, BDM Core member Dr. Sowmya Rao presented a workshop on ‘Biostatistics and Evaluation of Evidence’ for the Center’s Training & Mentoring Program.

TRAC Project

The TRAC team is making progress on study recruitment and enrollment. As of September 2022, we have attempted phone contact of 196 prior study participants for Aim 1 screening. We reached 160 participants and invited all of them for screening. Of the 160 screened, we found 154 to be eligible and 4 people declined. Therefore, we have enrolled 150 participants into the study (42 in the no alcohol consumption group, 41 in the low/moderate alcohol use group, and 67 in the high-risk alcohol use group). All enrolled participants have completed baseline procedures including questionnaire, biological specimen collection for dried blood spot (DBS) preparation and storage for phosphatidylethanol (PEth) testing, and urine collection for real time cotinine testing, and PPD placement. Of the 150 (80 females and 70 males) enrolled participants, approximately 10% have received a positive tuberculin skin test result. The team is now beginning work on Aim 2, which will use TB registry records to determine whether people with HIV who engage in heavy alcohol use and have latent TB infection are at increased risk of progressing to active TB disease, despite receipt of TB preventative therapy, compared to persons engaging in lower risk or no alcohol use. 

(TRAC team celebrating the TRAC study launch – cutting the TRAC cake. L-R: Kapere M, Ruth K, Justine K, Benton A, Carol A, Bobson N, Winnie M, Judy H, Christine N, Adah T, Nneka E, Yona M)

(L-R: Christine N and Judy H; Adah T and Nneka E; Judy H welcoming on board new TRAC team members.)

TALC Project

The study team has continued with study start-up activities, including identifying alternate sites for study implementation, given the ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine. The study’s former name, SPIRIT, has been changed to TALC (Tuberculosis, Alcohol, and Lung Comorbidities) to reflect the study focus.