Tuberculosis (TB) in humans and bovine TB in farm animals are global health problems of immense social and economic importance.
Human TB: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) is a slowly replicating bacillus that resides intracellularly within phagosomes of macrophages and commonly causes latent infections of the lung and in about 5% of the infected individuals it leads to active disease. Co-infection with M. tuberculosis is estimated in about one-third of HIV-1 infected subjects. Indeed, the risk of developing M. tuberculosis as an opportunistic infection is increased up to 200-fold in HIV-1+ subjects. Drug resistance to HIV-treatment and appearance of multiple-drug resistance (MDR) and off late of Extra-Drug Resistance (XDR) strains of M. tuberculosis, the causative agent of human TB is steadily leading to a hopeless situation as far as the therapy is concerned.Bovine TB: Bovine tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis, which is closely related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the cause of human tuberculosis. M. bovis can be transmitted to humans through the ingestion of unpasteurised milk and milk products as well as aerosols, from infected cows. The introduction of pasteurisation eliminated transmission through contaminated milk and greatly reduced the human health problem1. The principal hosts for bovine tuberculosis are cattle and buffalo, however many other domestic and wild animals can become infected e.g. goats, cervids, pigs, wild boars, dogs, cats, camels, badgers, primates, hares, amongst others. Bovine tuberculosis is found worldwide. All developed countries currently have a TB eradication program in place for many years. These programs have been largely successful; however, incidences are increasing in many countries (e.g. UK, Ireland, France, Austria, Germany).
The specific objectives achievable within DEMO-NOPERSIST project are
1. Development and evaluation of prototype test kits for active human TB (LIONEX, SME). This test shall be the World’s first blood test for discriminating latent from active TB in humans.
2. Development and evaluation of prototype test kits for active Bovine TB (PRIONICS, SME)
3. To develop marketable, improved diagnostic products for human and bovine TB within a period of 2-3 years .
Thus, both human and bovine active TB tests are directly linked to the NOPERSIST project and shall be an excellent demonstration of a Res4SME project NOPERSIST.
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