News Release

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

NIAID Updates “Focus on TB” Web Feature

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has updated “Focus on Tuberculosis (TB)” in advance of World TB Day, March 24. This Web feature describes TB research being done in NIAID’s labs in Bethesda, MD, and by NIAID-supported scientists across the country and around the world.

Every second of every day, someone is newly infected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB. The ancient affliction still reigns as one of the world’s leading killers. Yet, there is reason for hope. Visit the Web site to read about research studies in progress such as these:

  • Improving a Tried and True Vaccine — BCG for the 21st Century
    An NIAID grantee is using genetic engineering to improve BCG, a century-old TB vaccine. He is working on a better TB vaccine for infants; a “booster” shot for the four billion people worldwide who’ve previously received BCG vaccine; and a vaccine that will be safe for people with weakened immune systems. 
  • U.S.-South Korean Collaboration Will Advance TB Care
    The National TB Hospital in Masan, South Korea, admits more than 500 patients a year with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). NIAID scientists have joined with researcher-clinicians at the hospital to improve imaging technology and other techniques that will speed diagnostics and new treatments for the often-fatal MDR-TB.

For these and other story ideas, visit the “Focus on TB” Web site at

News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health. NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports research on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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