MHF TOP PICKS FOR June
Every month, we at the Mueller Health Foundation like to showcase interesting news and updates in the field of tuberculosis. Below are our top 3 picks for June:
- Peer to Peer TB Education in San Diego Highschools
San Diego High School has been piloting an eight-week service-learning project
to educate peers on tuberculosis. The project was part of a collaboration
between the San Diego County Office of Education’s (SDCOE) Work-Based
Learning team and the county Health and Human Services Agency Public Health
Services Tuberculosis Control and Refugee Health Branch. Each week, a
representative from the Public Health Services Tuberculosis Control and
Refugee Health Branch visited the classroom to give a presentation about
tuberculosis. Students then conducted surveys in their community and
designed a strategy to help prevent the spread of the infection. The project
culminated with a presentation to a panel of professional. At San Diego High
School, 36 students participated. Additional schools are expected to
participate next year, focusing on high-risk tuberculosis areas. To learn more,
you can access the full article at:
- New Diagnostic Test for TB Detects DNA Fragments in the Blood
Researchers at Tulane University School of Medicine have developed a new
highly sensitive blood test for tuberculosis that screens for DNA fragments of
the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that causes the deadly disease. The
study evaluated a CRISPR-based assay that screened for cell-free DNA from
live Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacilli. The screening target is released into
the bloodstream and cleared quite rapidly, providing a real-time snapshot of
active infection. Researchers tested preserved blood samples from 73 adults
and children with presumptive TB and their asymptomatic household
contacts in Eswatini, Africa. The test identified adult TB with 96.4%
sensitivity and 94.1% specificity and pediatric TB with 83.3% sensitivity and
95.5% specificity. The CRISPR-based test uses a small blood sample and can
deliver results within two hours, thereby making it a viable option for
improving current TB diagnostic practices. To learn more about this new
diagnostic approach, you can read the full paper here:
DID YOU KNOW?
In recent news, Queen Elizabeth II of England has been celebrating her Platinum Jubilee to mark the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne. Given global fascination with royalty, we thought it would be interesting to share a few interesting historic facts on the relationship between tuberculosis and royal families:
- During the Middle Ages, it was widely (and wrongfully) believed that English and French royalty could cure mycobacterial cervical lymphadenitis, a swelling of the lymph glands associated with TB (also known as scrofula), simply through touch. Royal touch was thought to be bestowed on royalty by the divine rights of sovereigns.
- During the Middle Ages, tuberculous lymphadenitis (scrofula) was known by the nickname of the “king’s evil” in Europe. The belief that the disease could be cured by a king’s touch has its origins with Clovis of France (487-511), and later other European monarchs such as Robert the Pious, Edward the Confessor and Philip I of France.
- The practice was very common in Europe from the 13th century onward. In the 1600s in England, it is said that King Charles II touched 92,102 subjects during his 25 year reign. The practice in England stopped after Queen Anne’s reign in the 1700s, but continued in France until 1825.
- Since the 1800s, tuberculosis has been strongly associated with the Swedish royal family. In 1897, King Oscar celebrated 25 years on the throne and received a monetary gift from the people of Sweden worth approximately 10 million euros today. While the King desired a new boat, his wife Queen Sofia, who was involved in nursing care issues and nursing education persuaded him that the money should be used to fight tuberculosis instead. Her wise suggestion led to four state sanatoria being built after models of other sanatoria that already existed in several places in Europe.
- In 1904, the Swedish National Association against Tuberculosis was formed with the strong support of the Swedish crown prince who later became King Gustav. He emphasized the importance that every citizen must contribute to the fight against TB and help those who are afflicted. The Swedish National Association against Tuberculosis was the beginning of todays Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation, which is pro-actively funding basic and clinical TB research.
https://blog.microbiologics.com/10-interesting-facts-about-drug-resistant-tuberculosis https://jmvh.org/article/history-of-tuberculosis-part-1-phthisis-consumption-and-the-white-plague/ https://historyhouse.co.uk/articles/kings_evil.html https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1201971215000247