The Aurum Institute (AURUM) is a public-benefit, scientific South African organization active in the fields of TB and HIV/AIDS. This institute is a leader in HIV and TB research in South Africa and is known for large community-wide epidemiological studies. Examples of such projects include large cluster randomized trials evaluating the impact of community-wide TB preventive therapy among mine workers and the impact and cost-effectiveness of XPERT MTB/Rif in the routine rollout in South Africa, implementing an optimized model for scaling up TB/HIV integration at primary care clinics in a sub-district in South Africa. A landmark study which was conducted by Professor G. Churchyard (Project Coordinator) used a retrospective cohort design to examine impact of TB on pulmonary function in employed South African gold miners over a period of 5 years.
The DZIF comprises of a number of the leading German infectious disease research institutions, with the core units for tuberculosis located in Borstel and Munich. Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Medical Center of the University of Munich (LMU) will contribute its experience of over 20 years in conducting clinical, immunological, epidemiological and public health research in African countries. Specifically, the LMU is currently conducting a pilot study in Maputo, Mozambique, in which the use of spirometry is being assessed in an African study environment. First data on feasibility and outcome of pulmonary lung assessment in TB patients outside from South Africa will be generated through a collaboration between DZIF/LMU and the local partner (INS) in Maputo.
DZIF-Borstel Research Center (FZB) is hosting the German National Reference Center for Mycobacteria which is one of the leading diagnostic centers worldwide and one of the 26 WHO Supranational Reference Laboratories. FZB coordinates several national and international activities in basic and applied fields of TB research. Several studies on host-pathogen interaction, molecular epidemiology, resistance mechanisms, genomic diversity of clinical MTBC isolates have been conducted. A special recent focus is the application of next generation sequencing genome analysis for resistance prediction and tracing of outbreak strains.
University of the Witswatersrand, Clinical HIV Research Unit (CHRU)
The Clinical HIV Research Unit (CHRU) is a division of the Wits Health Consortium (Pty) Ltd. which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of the Witwatersrand. CHRU is located within the grounds of the Helen Joseph Hospital, a 600-bed tertiary academic hospital of Wits University located in the metropolitan centre of Johannesburg, with a second site at Sizwe Tropical Diseases Hospital on the East Rand. Research and diagnostic studies are focused on HIV treatment in adults, HIV drug resistance, HIV prevention, TB treatment in adults, TB prevention, multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR/XDR-TB), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer screening and treatment and other viral-associated cancers. The Unit has a strong track record of Investigational New Drug (IND) level research spanning over sixteen years that has translated into significant changes in government public health policy, national guidelines and regulatory processes.
The Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE²RO) is a division of the Wits Health Consortium, a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of the Witwatersrand. Its purpose is to conduct applied, policy- and program-relevant research and evaluation on issues of public health importance in South Africa. HE²RO was established in 2004 as a collaboration between WHC and the Center for Global Health and Development at Boston University in the United States. It focuses on understanding the economic and epidemiological consequences of the HIV and TB epidemics and the effectiveness, benefits, and costs of interventions. It responds directly to requests for information and technical assistance from the National Department of Health, National Health Laboratory Service, provincial departments of health, PEPFAR partners, and healthcare providers, answering questions of immediate practical relevance to these stakeholders. More information about HE²RO can be found at http://www.heroza.org
Instituto Nacional de Saúde (INS), Maputo, Mozambique is a public research institution under the Ministry of Health, prioritizing on epidemiological surveys and conduct of GCP clinical trials on diagnostics and treatment, with the aim of and making innovations available to the population. INS is commissioned to advise the Ministry of Health on change of public health guidelines. Together with network partner – LMU, the study site recently completed a small-scale observational study with 90 TB patients which applies lung function measurements, clinical and socio-economic evaluation and will inform and shape the design of the TB Sequel Cohort.
Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has an established track record in human TB research involving epidemiology, immunology and microbiology. It has set up and maintains a longitudinal household-contact platform for over 15 years. The Unit leads TB activities in the West African Tuberculosis network, which comprise 7 countries and receives Mtb strains form these settings as well as delivers training opportunities in TB management through the network to many regional partners. It has played an active role in many EDCTP-funded grants and is internationally recognized for its capacity building in Africa with a focus on individual career development, laboratory training and conduct of clinical trials.
NIMR-Mbeya Medical Research Centre (NIMR-MMRC), Tanzania is both a basic research centre with advanced immunology and molecular biology facilities, and a trial site with state-of-the art TB and safety laboratory. It conducts GCP-compliant TB drug and diagnostic trials including REMox and MAMS, basic research programmes on biomarkers as well as several trials on new diagnostics and interventions in the health system. MMRC has experience from multiple population based cohort studies, enrolling and following-up 20.000 individuals over 5 years.
Global TB Programme, World Health Organisation (WHO)
The Global TB Programme at WHO is the leading global agency for development of guidelines and strategies in the fight against TB worldwide. WHO as an associate partner and specifically Professor K. Lönnroth and Dr Andrew Siroka will collaborate with the network in the role as external investigators in the conceptualization, design and analysis of studies as well as in the publication of results and their translation into policies.
Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet (KI)
The Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, will be an associate partner, in particular Professor K. Lönnroth who will be involved as external investigator in the conceptualization, design and analysis of studies, as well as in the supervision of PhD students. Karolinska Institutet is one of the world’s foremost medical universities and Sweden’s single largest centre of medical academic research. The Department of Public Health Sciences is conducting research and research training in the fields of global health, public health epidemiology, social medicine, and health systems.