Preclinical model development
People are often affected by conditions that increase their risk of developing TB. These conditions include HIV, obesity and diabetes. New animal models will be developed to better reflect these human conditions that are associated with increased TB disease risk. This will improve our chances of identifying vaccines to protect vulnerable populations.
TB Modelling and Analysis Consortium
The TB Modelling and Analysis Consortium (TB MAC) is a global community of TB modellers who provide quantitative support for TB policy decisions and implementation. By promoting collaboration and funding research projects, TB MAC has since its inception in 2012 been of great influence in policy debates, and developing the global field of TB modelling.
On the global policy level, TB MAC has updated the World Health Organization methods used to estimate the amount of HIV-related TB globally, and provided input on technical discussions that resulted in the decision by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria not to reduce the proportion of funds it allocates to TB. In recent years, TB MAC has also supported the development of tools to integrate modelling into country-level policy discussions. These have been used in collaborations with UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, and the governments of Vietnam, Ghana, South Africa.
In response to the post-2015 End TB Strategy, TB MAC has led the first multi-model TB comparison exercise to assess the feasibility of the new targets of 50% reduction in TB incidence and 75% reduction in TB mortality by 2025 for China, India and South Africa. This work coordinated the efforts of 11 modelling groups, a team of economists and representatives from the country National TB Programmes and advocacy communities. Results from this work have informed policy discussions, in particular in South Africa, where the work has influenced budgets and operational research priorities. The modelling is being used in South Africa in their first ever combined TB and HIV Investment Case.
The consortium is open to anyone who is interested in quantitative methods to improve TB policy and practice. It is funded by a grant to the School from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
TB centre members: Richard White, Rein Houben, Christina Albertsen, Anna Vassall
Houben, R. M., D. W. Dowdy, A. Vassall, T. Cohen, M. P. Nicol, R. M. Granich, J. E. Shea, P. Eckhoff, C. Dye, M. E. Kimerling, R. G. White and T. M. T.-H. m. participants (2014). “How can mathematical models advance tuberculosis control in high HIV prevalence settings?” Int J
Tuberc Lung Dis 18(5): 509-514.
Zwerling, A., R. G. White, A. Vassall, T. Cohen, D. W. Dowdy and R. M. G. J. Houben (2014). “Modeling of Novel Diagnostic Strategies for Active Tuberculosis – A Systematic Review: Current Practices and Recommendations.” PLoS ONE 9(10): e110558