Tuberculosis Research in Taiwan

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Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2011;2(Suppl 1):S10-S10
Research Fellow and Head, Reference Laboratory of Mycobacteriology, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, Adjunct Professor, National Yang-Ming University.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a leading infectious disease in Taiwan; 13,200 new cases, including 164 multidrug-resistant (MDR), were confirmed in the year of 2010.Aprogram of “Halving TB Prevalence in Ten Years” has been implemented by Taiwan Centers for Disease Control since 2006; which formulated 4 major strategies: (1) amend existing national TB control program; (2) reinforce new case detection mechanism; (3) improve numbers of TB andMDR cases to be cured; and (4) strengthen international collaboration. Research focus can be divided in the following areas: (1) understanding the epidemiology of tuberculosis, including enhancement of surveillance system and development of new molecular methods, for evaluating factors influencing the occurrence and transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis; (2) revealing the basic biology of host and M. tuberculosis, including genetic analysis of host and different lineages of strains; (3) assessing and developing new TB diagnostics, including development of improved diagnostic tools for early TB and drug-resistant diagnosis and differentiating nontuberculous mycobacteria; (4) improving and defining effective treatment of TB and MDR TB, including evaluation of new lead compounds and candidate antibiotics against M. tuberculosis using laboratory assays, and supporting research on drug-resistant mechanisms; (5) developing laboratory quality-assurance systems, including certification and timely reporting of laboratory services. Progress of research has contributed to shaping TB program in Taiwan, and more efforts are needed for better TB control.

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