MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2018

NIAID issues call for TB research

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently issued a funding opportunity announcement to support the creation of two to three multinational tuberculosis research units.

NIAID, which is part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, intends the TBRUs to operate as a collective network to study tuberculosis latency and persistence, and their relationship to the active form of the highly infectious illness.

"This initiative will support two to three individual TBRUs that will operate as a collaborative network," according to the NIAID FOA. "This expansion is expected to facilitate One) pursuit of separate and distinct avenues of investigation; Two) the ability to target different paucibacillary stages; Three) conduct of both hypothesis-generating and hypothesis-confirming studies; and 4) scientific depth and breadth to address paucibacillary stages of TB disease through integration of human studies and animal models."

The NIAID currently supports an extensive TB research program, particularly through its Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. The institute's research has often facilitated the developed of new drugs, vaccines and biologics.

The TBRU portion of NIAID was started in 1994 in order to coordinate and integrate different research disciplines in order to more effectively study TB in epidemic countries. The current TBRU supports research, clinical studies and trials in many countries.

The NIAID said that TB research management is continually hampered by a limited understanding of the stages of TB infection before the infection becomes active in the victims lungs. Latency and persistence, having low levels of bacteria at different infection sites, are particularly difficult to study, but may hold answers to the development of drug-resistance.

Organizations that wish to apply must send NIH a letter of intent by mid-January and have their applications finished by mid-February. Applicants can propose budgets of up to $3.25 million over seven years.

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National Institutes of Health

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