The University of Liverpool, England, has been granted funding to investigate whether differences in genes determine how patients respond to anti-tuberculosis drugs in Sub-Saharan Africa. An international research team will investigate why some patients respond positively to anti-TB drug treatment, why the treatment fails in some, and why others experience toxicity. Professor Andrew Owen from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology, and part of the team, commented that there is a much greater understanding of genes that affect how individuals react and respond to drugs used in other diseases such as HIV than there is for TB.
Researchers will study the genes of patients being treated with the four main anti-TB drugs, and with a new drug which is in development, using clinical trial sites in Benin, Senegal, and South Africa. The study will explore and determine genetic differences that affect the effectiveness and reaction to anti-TB drugs. It is funded through H3Africa research and capacity-building project and led by African scientists. The study is led by Dissou Affolabi of the National Hospital for Tuberculosis and Pulmonary Disease in Benin. Other partners are the National TB program in Senegal; the University Ignace Deen, Guinea; the University of Cape Town in South Africa; the Medical Research Council, South Africa; and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
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