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UTHSC receives $2.8 million tuberculosis research grant

Posted/updated on: September 20, 2020 at 8:28 am
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TYLER — The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has received a $2.8 million grant for a study of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Statistics reveal that infection infects a third of the world’s population, causing 1.3 million deaths per year, that includes 100,000 children. Principal investigator on the research is UTHSCT Chair and Professor of Pulmonary Immunology Dr. Raman Vankayalapati. UTHSCT researchers Drs. Karan Singh and Deepak Tripathi are co-investigators on the grant.

“Approximately 90% of infected persons have latent tuberculosis infection. They have protective immunity and remain well,” Dr. Vankayalapati said. “But 10% of infected persons develop primary tuberculosis (TB) soon after infection or experience reactivation TB many years later.” TB is the leading cause of death in HIV-infected persons. More than half a million coinfected people die annually. Children are more susceptible to TB infection due to an immature immune system. HIV infection in children markedly increases their susceptibility to TB.

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