Host-directed therapies against tuberculosis

Year of award: 2014


  • Prof Robert Wilkinson

    Imperial College London

Project summary

HIV and TB are among the most pressing public health problems in Africa. Through its studies, Professor Wilkinson's group has revealed that by early adulthood more than 80 per cent of people in African townships are infected with TB. The group has investigated the effects and mechanisms of preventative therapies, including antiretroviral therapy, isoniazid preventative therapy (IPT) and vitamin D provision. Interestingly, severe vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent among black Africans and is associated with HIV-TB. A clinical trial of antiretrovirals (ART) for the prevention of TB versus a trial of ART plus IPT showed that IPT reduced the incidence of tuberculosis by 37 per cent in HIV-infected individuals on ART, findings that have already been incorporated into national and WHO policies.