Room 1028 A&B, Old Main Building. Law Faculty
Tackling unmet needs for tuberculosis care: tools for an imperfect world
Although there are highly sensitive diagnostic tests available for tuberculosis (TB), these tests are more suitable for well-resourced settings with a low incidence of TB. Where high TB incidence collides with inadequately resourced health care services or limited access to health care, these tests have severe limitations, which account for at least part of the missing millions who have undiagnosed, untreated and unreported TB disease. Similarly, although effective antibiotic treatment exists, the treatment courses are lengthy, have marked side-effects, and are prone to fuel the development of drug resistance. Our research group employs complimentary clinical, imaging and laboratory approaches to develop new tools that can accelerate and refine diagnostic approaches and that will help to evaluate new treatment strategies more efficiently. Together, our research programs aim to lead to new tools that can function at appropriate levels of health care to contribute to a more comprehensive strategy against TB.
Prof Walzl is a clinician scientist and leads the Stellenbosch University Immunology Research Group. Clinically he was trained in the fields of internal medicine, pulmonology and intensive care medicine. His research focuses on the immunology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection and in particular host biomarkers, including diagnostic markers, markers of TB treatment response and markers of protective immunity against MTB. Walzl's research group is part of several international consortia and conducts recruitment of large cohorts of participants with well characterized MTB infection and disease phenotypes to search for biomarkers of TB. In addition, he has set up a 'site of TB disease' research program at Tygerberg Academic Hospital that includes research bronchoscopies, thoracocentesis and pleural biopsies to investigate immune responses in the lung and pleura. His research spans the divide between clinical and basic sciences in a high TB prevalence area and aims to develop clinical tools for improved TB care in a developing country setting.
RSVP: Whitney Prins- firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 October 2019
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