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ATS Responds to NIH’s TB Strategic Framework
The ATS filed comments in response to the NIH Request for Information to update the NIAID’s 2018 Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Research. The strategic plan is structured around five strategic priorities that address recent advances in the field of TB research:

  • Improve fundamental knowledge of TB.
  • Advance research to improve diagnosis of TB.
  • Accelerate research to improve TB prevention.
  • Support research to advance strategies to treat TB.
  • Develop tools and resources to advance TB research.
The ATS recommended that specific research be addressed in the NIH’s strategic framework, including:
  • Characterizing post-TB lung disease with varying TB profiles, including, for example, pulmonary, extra-pulmonary, and disseminated.
  • Understanding the impact of short and new TB treatment regimens on post-TB outcomes.
  • Understanding the natural history of TB, especially in high-burden countries, by developing large multi-country cohorts.

According to David Lewinsohn, MD, PhD, Oregon Health and Sciences University and a member of the ATS’s Pulmonary Infections and Tuberculosis Assembly, “Overall, the priorities included in the Strategic Plan are comprehensive. TB elimination will require preventing infection and progression to active disease once infected. Here, the more accurate identification of those at risk to progress once infected (smoldering or subclinical TB), shorter drug regimens, and an efficacious vaccine that prevents infection or progression once infected remain high priorities for innovation.”

Last Reviewed: September 2023