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NIH grant supports TB research network in Brazil

Feb. 23, 2023, 9:35 AM


by Paul Govern

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a five-year, $5 million grant to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for continued support of the Brazil Regional Prospective Observational Research in Tuberculosis network, or RePORT-Brazil.

The new grant will support a team of more than 60 Brazil- and U.S.-based investigators who enroll people in Brazil with active and latent TB.

Timothy Sterling, MD

The principal investigators for RePORT-Brazil are Timothy Sterling, MD, holder of the David E. Rogers Professorship in the Department of Medicine and founding director of the Vanderbilt Tuberculosis Center, and Bruno Andrade, MD, PhD, of the Gonçalo Moniz Institute in Salvador, Brazil.

There were more than 10 million new cases of TB worldwide in 2021 and 1.6 million people died from the disease, according to the World Health Organization, making TB the world’s 13th leading cause of death and the second leading infectious diseases killer after COVID-19.

With funding from the NIH and Brazil’s Ministry of Health, RePORT-Brazil was established in 2013 as a partnership between five study sites in Brazil — three in Rio de Janeiro, one in Salvador, one in Manaus — with VUMC serving as the coordinating center. Brazil’s Ministry of Health is also providing new funding for the project.

The program has enrolled some 1,000 TB cases and 2,000 of their close contacts. Data collected through RePORT-Brazil has provided the foundation for projects exploring drug resistance, TB/HIV, latent TB, transmission and pathogenesis, and treatment and prevention, resulting in some 40 publications to date.

“In this next phase of our work with RePORT-Brazil,” Sterling said, “we look forward to doubling our enrollment of TB patients and their close contacts, and to expanding our specimen and data repository and utilizing it for new insights into the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of TB. This funding will also enhance collaboration with other researchers, and support and develop the next generation of TB scientists in Brazil.”

VUMC co-investigators for RePORT-Brazil include Catherine McGowan, MD, and Stephanie Duda, PhD. Program managers for the coordinating center are Marina Figueiredo, DVM, MS, and Cody Staats, MS; the data manager is Megan Turner, MA; and the biostatistician is Gustavo Amorim, PhD.

RePORT-Brazil is supported by the NIH (AI172064).

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