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Medical News & Perspectives |

Scientists Confront Joint HIV-TB Epidemics by Taking Fight to the Front Lines

Bridget M. Kuehn, MSJ
JAMA. 2012;308(19):1959-1960. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.14752.
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The emergence of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in patients at a rural hospital in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa gained international attention in 2005. By that point, physicians had become accustomed to encountering cases of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). When first-line antibiotics failed, they knew they could turn to more toxic and less effective second-line choices. But the outbreak in KwaZulu-Natal led to the “recognition that untreatable TB was out there,” explained William R. Bishai, MD, PhD, codirector of the Johns Hopkins Center for Tuberculosis Research in Baltimore.

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William R. Bishai, MD, PhD, is leading a new institution in South Africa where basic researchers will conduct research that addresses epidemic levels of tuberculosis and HIV coinfections in the surrounding area.

(Photo credit: Andrew Cassell/Deaf Dog Productions)
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The KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV, opened in October, was created by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of KwaZulu-Natal to bring basic scientists together to study drug-resistant tuberculosis and HIV coinfections.

(Photo credit: Barker Sky Imaging)

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