Charles Bark, MD, CTSC KL2 Scholar alum and an infectious disease specialist in the MetroHealth Medical Center Department of Medicine, was awarded a 5-year $7.2 million NIH grant to study patterns of tuberculosis (TB) transmission in Kampala, Uganda. Decreasing the global burden of TB requires preventing new infections by interrupting transmission. Currently this is not possible because it is not known where TB transmission occurs outside the household and current TB tests cannot distinguish between recent and remote exposures.
The purpose of this grant is to solve both of these problems. A new blood-based marker of recent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection will be developed in collaboration with Caprion Biosciences, one of the world’s leaders in biomarker discovery. Additionally, GPS tracking technology combined with the new marker will be used to map TB transmission in community volunteers to locate areas of high TB transmission (hot spots). Determining the hot spots of TB transmission in a community would allow for interventions to prevent TB transmission and target preventive therapy.