The CBTBR aims to consolidate its already extensive regional, national and international network of collaborations and to position itself as a valuable laboratory-based resource centre that can support clinical and operational structures within the broader TB research community.
South Africa is facing a tuberculosis (TB) problem of such magnitude that this disease has been declared a national health emergency. The rampant HIV co-epidemic plaguing this country has exacerbated the problem enormously. Although some improvements could be made in controlling TB through reform of existing control programs, it is widely acknowledged that a quantum leap in the quality of tools for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of TB will be required if there is to be any hope at all of eradicating this devastating disease. The recent advances in genomics and the molecular biosciences have created the opportunity for investigating the biology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the interaction of this organism with its human host at a level that was previously unimaginable. Its unique position as a high-burden, African country with a well established scientific, technical and medical infrastructure places a particular onus on South Africa to contribute significantly to global research efforts that are aimed at developing new tools for controlling TB.
The major objective of the CBTBR is to contribute to local and global research efforts that are aimed at developing new tools for controlling tuberculosis and to use the research as a vehicle for training a new generation of high-quality biomedical research scientists. Included in the latter is research aimed at the development of multidisciplinary approaches for understanding the epidemiology of the disease and identification of novel bacterial and host markers that will shorten the time taken to develop new diagnostic tools.
Key performance areas: