AITHM James Cook University

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Using the tools of genomics, immunology and epidemiology, AITHM researchers are working closely with the people of the Western Province PNG to improve the diagnosis of TB, identify the risk factors for the disease, and ensure a sustainable research program approach in this remote region. 

Dr Jeff Warner, Dr Catherine Rush and Professor Emma McBryde are leading a team of students and researchers within AITHM, working closely with the people of the Western Province PNG on one of the most pressing of medical issues in the region.

Using the tools of genomics, immunology and epidemiology, the research team is working to improve the diagnosis of TB, identify the risk factors for the disease, and ensure a sustainable research program approach in this remote region.

This work establishes techniques to identify the type and burden of drug resistance TB, and working with local collaborators supporting the TB control program in this neglected region. In addition, immunological based techniques are helping to support the clinical diagnosis of TB (and therefore better direct treatments) combined with immunophenotyping, which might better help understand the immunopathology of TB and the immunodiagnosis of the disease. Finally, research is also providing greater understanding of the clinical and molecular epidemiology (distribution and determinates) of the disease in the region using modelling and big data analysis techniques.