Are We Winning Against TB?
TB expert at the University of Leicester has warned: “We are not winning
Barer, Professor of Clinical Microbiology in the Department of Microbiology and
Immunology, said: “The Chief Medical Officer urged us to “get ahead of the
curve” in his report on infection earlier this year. We are clearly behind the
curve both on the global scale and in Leicester.
year more than one and a half million people died of tuberculosis and we had the
largest ever recorded outbreak of the infection in a UK school in Leicester.
What we have learned about the tubercle bacillus over the last 120 years has
rendered most cases of TB treatable and the disease controllable, so why
aren’t we winning?”
Barer will discuss this issue in this inaugural lecture Tuberculosis: A
paradigm for the triumphs, failures and future of Clinical Microbiology on
November 12, 5.30pm, Ken Edwards Building, University of Leicester. The lecture
is free and open to the public.
Barer will examine what contributions Clinical Microbiologists have made to
He said: “I will discuss how the specimens we get in my discipline, their processing and the issue of reports can affect the TB control effort.
will also discuss our work on the genetic blueprint (genome) of the TB strain
responsible for the Leicester School outbreak. More than any other question I
have worked on, these genomic studies have shown how, with the help of new
technology, fundamental research can be rapidly fed into public health practice.
We have established a testing system that enables us to determine rapidly
whether strain of TB causing a newly diagnosed patient’s disease is or is not
part of the an outbreak and colleagues have used this information to make
genomic work is a paradigm for the future of Clinical Microbiology. At last we
are in sight of “real time” analyses and the flow from fundamental research
to application can meet some of our needs. Will Clinical Microbiology rise to
these opportunities and will tuberculosis be better controlled as a result?”
NOTE TO NEWSDESK: For more information, please contact Professor Barer on 0116 252 2933.
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.