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07 November 2017

Annual meeting report - Switzerland, 2017

At our first annual TB MAC / WHO meeting, held in September 2017 in Glion, Switzerland, our aims were twofold.
 
The first of these was to introduce a variety of initiatives to support country-level TB modelling, including guidance for country-level TB modelling, a catalogue of models currently available to conduct such modelling, and several planned and ongoing projects to close data gaps around the epidemiological and economic impacts of TB control interventions.
 
Our second aim was to create a forum to facilitate discussions on how to improve current epidemiological and economic modeling efforts related to TB case detection. We brought together experts from different fields, including social epidemiologists and epidemiological modellers, health economists, and representatives from policy bodies, including GFATM, USAID, World Bank and WHO to discuss these bodies of work and shape the direction of future efforts in this area.
 
The meeting centered around presentations contributed by a range of participants, followed by whole- and small-group discussions that saw significant engagement from all present, culminating in a number of useful and concrete suggestions for the future direction of various pieces of work.
 
Please go to our Work Areas page to read the report.

02 November 2017

Introduction to TB modelling Post Graduate course at the Union conference 2017

Our fifth consecutive Post Graduate 'Introduction to tuberculosis modelling' course was held at the Union conference in Mexico this year and we have now made the materials available on our website for you to refer to.  Please access them here on our Resources page.

The presentations from the course are also available here

  

31 October 2017

Modelling to support acceleration toward elimination Symposium – Guadalajara, Mexico – 13th October 2017

The topic for the TB MAC Symposium at the Union conference this year was ‘Modelling to support acceleration toward elimination’ and was held on Friday the 13th of October, from 10:30-12:00, in Jalisco Hall 10.

There is an urgent need to accelerate efforts toward elimination, now that the WHO End TB Strategy and the Stop TB Global Plan to End TB are in place.

Mathematical modelling is a critical tool for exploring the health impacts, cost-effectiveness and resource implications of future TB care and prevention options.

In this session, we present new results on four key modelling initiatives supporting acceleration toward elimination, and a country level NTP perspective on the pros and cons of modelling for country level decision making.

For more information, please see the Union website :  http://guadalajara.worldlunghealth.org/programme/iplanner-online-programme

Please click here for the presentations from the Symposium

29 September 2017

TB MAC / WHO first annual meeting - Switzerland - September 2017

The first TB MAC / WHO annual meeting was held in Switzerland from the 18th to the 22nd of September 2017, at the Hotel Victoria in Glion.

The meeting was split into four parts, please see agenda here

Thank you to those who took part in the meeting.  We found the discussions really helpful in guiding what TB MAC will do to foster the TB modelling community over the next year.

The presentations from the meeting can be found at the following links :

Monday and Tuesday - Country-level modelling guidance and catalogue

Wednesday morning - Epidemiological data collection / collation for model parameterisation for country-level resource allocation decision making 

Wednesday afternoon - Cost data needs of epidemiological models 

Thursday and Friday - Modelling TB case detection : challenges and ways forward

01 March 2017

TB MAC Stakeholder meeting - Washington - February 2017

TB MAC held a meeting with stakeholders in Washington on the 21st of February 2017.  Representatives from USAID, the Gates Foundation, Stop TB, Global Fund, World Bank, and WHO came together to discuss TB MAC objectives, proposals, and the demands and challenges of TB modelling.

Discussions went well, and stakeholders approved the work plan for TB MAC. Key communication, resources and stakeholder-empowerment gaps, identified by TB MAC, were fed into the follow-up two-day multi-stakeholder ‘Modelling Roadmap’ meeting.

Many thanks for your support in preparing for these meetings.

We look forward to working with you all to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of TB control policy and practice at global and country level, over the next 3 years!

To access the presentation TB MAC gave at the meeting, please click here

07 December 2016

3 year TB MAC infectious disease mathematical modeller / epidemiologist job (closed)

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is seeking to appoint an Assistant / Associate Professor in Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Mathematical Modelling with strong health analytical, organisational and communication skills to join the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology (DIDE) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSTHM). The post-holder will take the role of the TB Modelling and Analysis Consortium Secretariat Epidemiologist/Modeller, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) in LSHTM’s TB Modelling Group (http://tbmodelling.lshtm.ac.uk). The PI is Richard White, with co PIs: Vassall, Dowdy, Cohen, Houben, Eckhoff, Menzies, Gomez, and Kimerling.

This is a critical and influential role. It will give multiple opportunities to work with leaders in the field of TB modelling, on the cutting edge of the science and policy. The post-holder will work closely with Richard White, Rein Houben and the other co-PIs to deliver the activities and products in line with TB MAC’s mandate. International travel will also be required.

This is a full-time post, based in London at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and tenable up to 31 December 2019. The appointment will be made on the School’s Academic Pathway Assistant Professor scale, £44,226 - £50,629 per annum or Associate Professor scale, £53,477 - £61,380 per annum inclusive depending on qualifications and experience.

Applications should be made on-line via the LSHTM website at https://jobs.lshtm.ac.uk/Vacancy.aspx?ref=EPH-IDE-39 and you can also find more information by following that link.  Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Dr Richard White (richard.white@lshtm.ac.uk) or Rein Houben (rein.houben@lshtm.ac.uk) to find out more about the post before applying.

01 November 2016

TB MAC funded for another 3 years

We are delighted to announce that TB MAC has been funded for another 3 years by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  

TB MAC’s revised aim is to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of TB control policy and practice at global and country level.

We will do this by,

i) creating strong and effective links between decision makers and modelers & economists

ii) making new high quality modelling resources available/accessible to decision makers, and

iii) enabling TB decision makers to be better equipped to integrate these resources in their decision making.

We look forward to seeing you at future meetings and events.

30 June 2016

TB MAC Symposium at the Union conference - Saturday 29th October 2016

The TB MAC Symposium at the Union conference in Liverpool was on 'Modelling to overcome resistance to TB drugs and the End TB Strategy' and took place on Saturday the 29th of October, from 13:30-15:00, in Session Room 3A.  

We had five speakers who presented their findings from their research funded by TB MAC :

1) Cost-effectiveness of triage testing for facility-based systematic screening of tuberculosis in Uganda - Achilles Katamba (Uganda)
2) Tradeoffs in new anti-tuberculosis drug introduction policies: a model based analysis - Amber Kunkel (United States of America)
3) Capturing in situ fitness costs to drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Peru - Gwen Knight (United Kingdom)
4) Understanding the contribution of social protection to accelerate TB elimination - Delia Boccia (United Kingdom)
5) Illness-related impoverishment averted by TB control: findings for India and South Africa - Stephane Verguet (United States of America)
 
Please click here for the full programme
Please click here for the presentations

30 June 2016

TB MAC Post Grad Intro to TB Modelling course at Union conference - Wednesday 26th October 2016

Our Post Graduate course - 'An introduction to tuberculosis modelling' took place on Wednesday the 26th of October at the 2016 Union conference in Liverpool from 08:00 to 14:30 in Session Room 11C.  It is now in it's fourth consecutive year and has proved very popular with the course being fully booked each year.

To register and to find the full programme, please click here

30 June 2016

TB MAC links up with the Global Health Cost Consortium

The Global Health Cost Consortium (GHCC) has been launched to set standards, conduct analyses and disseminate cost data related to TB and other diseases. One of the first activities will be to start collating and synthesising current TB cost data with the aim to create a public data repository. TB MAC will also initiate a forum to consult TB modellers on their data needs. Further details on how to join will follow soon but meanwhile, additional information about GHCC can also be obtained from Anna Vassall

27 January 2016

Request for Applications - complete results

TB MAC Request for Applications - Funding summary

Below is a summary of the grants advertised by RfA and awarded by TB MAC from the 1st of February 2013 to the 1st of January 2016.

Reviewing procedure

Oversight by TB MAC Advisory Panel. Each application was reviewed by 3 independent reviewers (with no detected conflict of interest with any of the applicants). One TB modeller, one non-TB modeller and one policy reviewer.  Each of the pre-declared criteria were scored, summed and used to rank the applications within each reviewer.  The overall ranks from the three reviewers were then averaged to give an overall rank across all applications.  The top ranking applications were awarded until available funding was exhausted.

Awards

The feasibility of digital CXR / computer assisted reading and CRP as TB triage test for identifying individuals who require confirmatory testing for pulmonary TB (February 2013) – Anja van t Hoog - AIGHD - $15,000; Deliverables – PPT, international presentation, manuscript submission

Modelling to support the scale-up of TB case detection within countries (January 2014) - Joshua Salomon - Harvard College of Public Health - $150,557; Deliverables - PPT, manuscript submission

TB MAC Targets (May 2014) - Joshua Salomon - Harvard School of Public Health - $20,625; Deliverables - two manuscript submissions

Estimating the poverty alleviation benefits of scaling up tuberculosis control programs (January 2014) – Stephane Verguet – Harvard College of Public Health - $15,000; Deliverables – submission of Poverty manuscript

Modelling to understand the epidemiological impact and market impact of harmonised regimens for MDR-TB (July 2014) – Lisa Smith – WDI - $97,500; Deliverables – PPT, international presentation, manuscript submission

Modelling tradeoffs in the introduction of new TB antibiotics (January 2015) – Ted Cohen – Yale University - $70,000; Deliverables – PPT, international presentation, manuscript submission

Can we reach the post-2015 targets in China, South Africa, and India? (January 2015) – Gaby Gomez – AIGHD - $46,251; Deliverables – international presentation, and two manuscript submissions

Treatment for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI):  in what settings is the greatest impact on the burden of active TB seen? (March 2015) – Romain Raggonet – University of Melbourne - $17,246; Deliverables – manuscript – Is Isoniazid Preventative Therapy more Effecting in High Burden Settings?  Modelling the Effect of TB Incidence on IPT Impact

Mathematical modelling for TB burden estimation (September 2015) – Pete Dodd – University of Sheffield - $60,654; Deliverables – PPT, international presentation, manuscript submission, open access model

Modelling multidrug-resistant fitness cost and genotypic heterogeneity to accurately define tuberculosis program treatment targets (November 2015) – Gwen Knight – Imperial College London - $66,108; Deliverables – PPT, international presentation, abstract, manuscript submission

Informing decision making for universal access to quality tuberculosis care in India – an operational epidemic / economic modelling framework (January 2016) – David Dowdy – Johns Hopkins University - $65,000; Deliverables – PPT, international presentation, manuscript submission

Social Protection to enhance the control of TB - Modelling Consortium (S-PROTECT) (January 2016) – Delia Boccia, LSHTM - $99,993; Deliverables – PPT, international presentation, manuscript submission, open access model

Assessing the impact of poverty and DOTS programme coverage on tuberculosis epidemiology in Yunnan, China for integration into a modelling framework (January 2016) – Richard Coker – LSHTM - $123,224 ; Deliverables – PPT, international presentation, manuscript submission

07 December 2015

TB MAC report - Modelling socio-economic determinants and interventions for TB

Our latest report ;  'Modelling socio-economic determinants and interventions for TB - what do we know, where do we go?'  is now avaiable to download and read.  

05 December 2015

TB MAC Symposium presentations - World Conference on Lung Health, South Africa, Cape Town

The presentations made at the TB MAC Symposium 'Modelling to support TB control policy in the era of the End TB Strategy' are available here.

23 October 2015

Funding opportunities for modelling projects on structural and socio-economic determinants of TB - closed

Applications are invited for funding to support work on modeling structural and socio-economic determinants of TB. This is an open call, any applications that aim to advance the field of modelling of structural and socio-economic indicators of TB are eligible. Total funding available for this call is $200,000 and we anticipate to fund at least two projects.

We list two areas of specific interest, ‘Assessing the impact of reaching SDGs on TB epidemiology’ and ‘Using natural experiments to identify mechanisms by which SE factors influence TB’, but these are in no way meant to limit the scope of applications.

Opening date – 23nd October 2015

Closing date – 27th November 2015

Please see the Request for Applications page for more details.

09 September 2015

Post 2015 Global TB targets report

TB MAC is continuing to co-ordinate a multi-model exercise to explore if and how we might reach the proposed post-2015 Global TB Targets in South Africa, India, and China.  A recent meeting in Geneva was dedicated to economic aspects of a multi-model exercise that aims to focus efforts of modellers, economists, and other experts.

For more details and to read the report, please click here

17 June 2015

Funding announcement - closed

TB MAC has allocated up to $130,000 to fund modelling projects. Applications are invited for two research areas:

1. Development of methods to assess resource requirements to achieve universal health coverage in high TB burden countries’

2. Support work on any other area of TB modelling (i.e. an ‘open’ call).

Opening Date – 11th June 2015

Closing date – 3rd July 2015

Further details can be found on the Request for Applications section.

16 June 2015

TB MAC symposium at the 2015 Union meeting - 4th to 6th December – Cape Town, South Africa

We are pleased to announce that TB MAC organised a symposium at the 2015 Union meeting in Cape Town titled ‘Modelling to support TB control policy in the era of the End TB strategy’. 

Now the post-2015 End TB strategy Global targets have been set, country-level policy makers and NTPs urgently need support to assess how to reach these targets. In this symposium we highlighted how mathematical modelling can be a useful tool for exploring the health impact, cost-effectiveness and resource implications of future TB control options. We also presented case-studies of how mathematical modelling can support TB programmes in practice.

16 June 2015

TB MAC ‘Introduction to TB Modelling’ post-graduate course – 3rd/4th December 2015 – Cape Town, South Africa

We are pleased to announce that for the third year running TB MAC organised the ‘Introduction to TB Modelling’ post graduate course at the 2015 Union conference in Cape Town.

The course was aimed at all individuals interested in modelling Tuberculosis and the impact of TB care and control programmes. We introduced participants to the basic structures, assumptions, principles, and concepts of TB modelling, including key aspects of Mtb natural history and the impact and cost-effectiveness of TB care and control programmes. Participants gained hands-on experience of using a TB model and how to appraise TB modelling papers. We also highlighted the role of modelling for policy and decision making and resources available from the TB Modelling and Analysis Consortium (www.tb-mac.org)

We had 22 people attend the course this year, and we hope to be invited to run it again at next year's conference in Liverpool.

01 December 2014

M.tb Transmission 2014 meeting

Co-funded by TB MAC, the TB Centre's M.tb Transmission presentation from 2014 has published the slides and videos from the event.

There were three sessions examining; What is known?  Where does M.tb transmission occur?  and How can we interrupt transmission in high burden settings?  There was also a closing speech from Frank Cobelens from KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation.

Please click here for more information, and to access the presentations and slides.

30 October 2014

Post-2015 Global TB Targets TB MAC Union Symposium - Barcelona

Following the 5th TB MAC meeting in London in October, TB MAC and partners presented preliminary  results from the multi-model country analysis exploring the feasibility of reaching the post-2015 Global TB Targets at the 45th Union Conference in Barcelona.

On behalf the huge project team the work was presented by Richard White, Rein Houben (Epidemiology), Gaby Gomez (Economics), Yogan Pillay (South Africa country perspective), Li-xia Wang (China country perspective), Kirankumar Rade (India country perspective), Thokozile Phiri-nkhoma (Community perspective), and Michael Kimerling (Summary and next steps). Our chairs and summarisers were Philippe Glaziou (WHO) and Lucica Ditiu (STOP TB.)

The PDFs of all presentations (based on our non-final results so far) are here.

The Symposium was very well received by a large audience. As might have been expected from a Union Conference audience, questions focussed both on technical and policy implications of the work. Feedback has been very positive, with the audience impressed by the work, and by the efforts of the many people who contributed to it.

The utility of this work was clear to all, for policy discussion, both at country level and for informing thinking and action at global level.

The team is currently working on revising the results, which will be published and widely disseminated early next year.

 

30 October 2014

Introduction to TB Modelling Post Graduate Course

TB MAC ran its second Introduction to TB Modelling post graduate course at the Union meeting in Barcelona. Again it was oversubscribed, so if the Union is able to give us a slot, we aim to run it again next year, in Cape Town.

06 October 2014

Post-2015 Global TB Targets Meetings 1 and 2

TB MAC is co-ordinating a multi-model exercise to explore if and how we might reach the proposed post-2015 Global TB Targets in selected countries. The first meeting in this work area was held in Seattle (see photo). Participating modelling groups, economists and other experts met and discussed how to assess if and how the new post-2015 GTB global TB targets could be reached. Initial results were discussed, and a course was set towards the upcoming Union Conference, where preliminary results will be presented to a wider audience. You can find more details about the meeting here and a full meeting report can be found here

The second meeting developed the methods of the exercise, discussed progress made so far, made key decisions and set out the path towards the next milestones, the Targets Union Conference Symposium in October, and the further revision, publication and dissemination of this work.

See the meeting report for more details.

 

 

16 September 2014

TB MAC Review: Thanks for helping shape TB MAC's future!

Many thanks to those of you who returned the TB MAC Review survey, that asked for your thoughts on how well you thought TB MAC was doing, and on how you thought we could improve going forward. 

In sumary, you thought the contribution of TB MAC was overwhelmingly thought positive; comments such as “TB MAC has brought in a fresh air in the TB modelling world” (Advocate), “I am very supportive of the investment” (Funder) and “TB-MAC has being doing a good job” (Modeller) were common.

Few respondents had specific suggestions for how our aims and objectives should change, rather that TB MAC might consider putting more effort into specific areas within our existing aims and objectives, such as increasing the awareness, engagement, and relevance of TB MAC’s work to various stakeholders.

A full summary of results is here.

The TB MAC Committee is now using your comments to plan how TB MAC can improve over the coming months and years.

Many thanks again for such useful feedback!

15 July 2014

Introduction to TB Modelling Post Graduate Course

Registration is now open for the popular TB MAC Introduction to TB Modelling Post Graduate Course at the Union World Conference.

This course was oversubscribed last year, so please register early to ensure you do not miss out. The course will run on the 29th October.

Please click here to register for the course via the main Conference Registration process.    

For more information, see: http://barcelona.worldlunghealth.org/programme/daily-programme/wednesday-29-october-2014#post-graduate-courses.

 

08 July 2014

TB MAC paper on TB diagnostics and modelling accepted for publication in the IJTLD

The second TB MAC paper on TB diagnostics and modelling, "Impact and cost-effectiveness of current and future tuberculosis diagnostics: the contribution of modelling" has been accepted for publication in IJTLD. In this paper experts discuss the contribution of modelling to harness and estimate the potential impact of current and new TB diagnostics. Look for the paper in the perspectives section of IJTLD.

Author List:

D. W. Dowdy, R. Houben, T. Cohen, M. Pai, F. Cobelens, A. Vassall, N. A. Menzies, G. Gomez, I. Langley, S. B. Squire, R. White

SUMMARY:

The landscape of diagnostic testing for tuberculosis (TB) is changing rapidly, and stakeholders need urgent guidance on how to develop, deploy and optimize TB diagnostics in a way that maximizes impact and makes best use of available resources. When decisions must be made with only incomplete or preliminary data available, modelling is a useful tool for providing such guidance. Following a meeting of modelers and other key stakeholders organized by the TB Modelling and Analysis Consortium, we propose a conceptual framework for positioning models of TB diagnostics. We use that framework to describe modelling priorities in four key areas: Xpert w MTB/RIF scale-up, target product profiles for novel assays, drug susceptibility testing to support new drug regimens, and the improvement of future TB diagnostic models. If we are to maximize the impact and cost-effectiveness of TB diagnostics, these modelling priorities should figure prominently as targets for future research.

 

 

 

30 April 2014

Introduction to TB Modelling Course 2014

We are pleased to confirm that the TB MAC team will once again be running the Introduction to TB Modelling Post Graduate course at the Union World Conference on Lung Health. The course will take place on the 29th October, in Barcelona. See the Union website for more details and registration.

02 April 2014

TB MAC Global TB Targets work area - work underway

Together with the global TB modelling community TB MAC has started work on exploring the potential of existing interventions to reach the post-2015 Global TB Targets.

The post-2015 WHO Global TB Programme strategy has been submitted to the May 2014 World Health Assembly, which sets very ambitious targets. These include a ~50% reduction in TB cases and a 75% reduction in TB deaths between 2015 and 2025, with further targets for 2035. These targets were said to be ambitious to drive innovation and resource mobilisation, whilst being feasible. But how achievable are they? Which interventions, at what scale, and what are the resources that would be required to meet these targets?

The aim of the ongoing TB MAC work is to focus the efforts of modellers, economists and other experts on these questions in a set of key indicator countries (India, China and South Africa). Over 10 independent modelling groups have joined the initiative to make projections of the likely impact of a range of interventions between 2015 and 2035. These will be used to estimate cost-effectiveness and resource implications.

The findings will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals, and will generate evidence for WHO GTB, STOP TB Partnership, TAG, Global Fund, UNAIDS and other key global stakeholders.

15 January 2014

First TB MAC paper accepted for publication

TB MAC is pleased to announce the acceptance of the first TB MAC paper "How Can Mathematical Models Advance TB Control in High HIV Prevalence Settings?" in the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD). This paper builds on the discussions from the first TB MAC meeting in Johannesburg. You can read the report from that meeting here.

15 January 2014

New Drugs and Regimens - Funding

TB MAC is pleased to announce the first funding award from meeting 3 "Modelling to support the rational introduction of new drugs and regimens". Kathryn Schnippel (Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office, University of Witwatersand) has been awarded funds for "Assessing the health outcomes and economic consequences of different strategies for scale-up of novel regimens". 
 
The second of TB MAC funding awards from this meeting has been awarded to the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan and Imperial College London, for the research question "Modelling to understand the epidemiological impact and market impact of harmonized regimes for MDR-TB". The modelling approach will determine optimal treatment regimes for drug resistant TB for specific epidemiological, DST scale up and socio-economic contexts, with a focus on the high MDR-burden country of India.

13 October 2013

Funding available for modelling to support the rational introduction of new drugs and regimens

Following the meeting on new drugs and regimens in Beijing, TB MAC has allocated up to $145,000 to fund 2 projects for “Modelling to support rational introduction of new drugs and regimens”. Applications are invited for four separate research areas, which can be found at Request for Applications on the TB MAC website.

Aim: To develop models that support the use and rational introduction of new drugs and regimens. Applications are invited to address the following modelling questions:

1.    What is the optimal allocation of a limited resource to the control of MDR TB?

2.    Application of models to maximize the probability of success in phase 3 clinical trials of new drug regimens

3.    Assessing the health outcomes and economic consequences of different strategies for scale-up of novel regimens

4.    Modelling to Understand the Epidemiological Impact and Market Impact of Harmonized Regimens for MDR-TB

Applications are now invited, and will be processed quickly. The two successful applications will be notified in by 9th December.

Opening Date – 13th Oct 2013

Closing date – 10th Nov 2013

Please see the Request for Applications section on the Consortium website for more details, and how to submit an application.

30 September 2013

Diagnostics - Funding Announcement

Following the successful application of the team at Harvard University, TB MAC is pleased to announce an award to fund "Modelling to support the scale-up of TB case detection within countries", a direct result of our meeting 2 "Impact and Cost Effectiveness of Current and Future Diagnostics". Led by Nick Menzies and Joshua Salomon at the Harvard School of Public Health, this project will investigate the consequences of a range of diagnostic algorithms and case finding approaches in nine high TB burden settings, chosen to reflect a range according to HIV prevalence, TB drug resistance, and health system capacity. In addition to estimating epidemiological outcomes, this project will also estimate changes in resource consumption following policy change, with the goal of providing generalizable information to inform program strategy in a variety of high TB burden settings.

 

11 September 2013

TB MAC Meeting 3 (TB Drugs)

Our third meeting, “Rational introduction of new drugs and regimens” held September 2013 in Beijing, brought together a wide range of experts in the field of Tuberculosis drug development, within-host and population modellers, economists and epidemiologists to share ongoing analyses and shape the direction of future modelling research in 5 key areas:

1)    Epidemiological impact of improved application of existing drugs and drug regimens 

2)    Host and within-host approaches for understanding drug effects

3)    Epidemiological impact and cost-effectiveness of introducing novel TB drugs and novel TB drug regimens

4)    Approaches for the introduction and delivery of new drugs and new drug regimens

5)    Market dynamics

The presentations and group discussions have been summarised in the meeting report (available on the TB MAC website). During the meeting  4 requests for applications were formulated to stimulate more modelling research in this critical area.

 

The meeting consolidated the ongoing process of activating and expanding the field of modelling in the field of drug and regimen development, as well as improve communication between the modelling community and experts from other fields.

TB MAC will continue to bring together new and experienced TB modellers with data experts around specific topics in the field of TB to improve global tuberculosis (TB) control by coordinating and promoting mathematical modelling and other quantitative research activities.

For more information, please see the meeting report.

10 September 2013

TB MAC Symposium at Union meeting - (Sat 2nd Nov 8-10am room 252AB)

TB MAC will be running a symposium at the upcoming Union World Conference on Lung Health to present progress on the modelling to support optimising TB control in high-HIV prevalence settings, on Saturday 2nd of November, 8-10am in room 252AB. The presentations will cover the development of a new country-level modelling tool in the Spectrum software environment, insights in preventive therapy, and impact as well as cost-effectiveness of vaccination and Xpert roll-out in high HIV prevalence settings. We look forward to meeting you there and continuing the discussion on how to improve TB control in these settings.

Further details (symposium 20) available here.

 

09 September 2013

TB MAC Modelling Course at Union meeting – fully subscribed, but hope to run again next year

Last newsletter we announced the one day TB modelling course "An Introduction to TB Modelling", which will be run by TB MAC on Thursday 31st October at this year’s Union World Conference on Lung Health. Interest has much exceeded our capacity to provide, with all available places booked by August. If you are one of the participants, we look forward to meeting you there! For those who missed out, we are sorry we could not accommodate you this year. Given the wide interest, we hope to run the course again next year, and invite you to apply then.

14 July 2013

Funding available for modelling to support the scale-up of TB case detection within countries

Following the Diagnostics Meeting in Amsterdam, TB MAC has allocated up to $130,000 to supporting “Modelling to support the scale-up of TB case detection within countries” by releasing the following Request for Applications:

Aim: To develop models that project the epidemiological impact and costs associated with strategies for case detection scale-up within particular country settings.

Objectives: For the proposed country settings:

  • To determine which defined population groups and clinical contexts are high priority for case detection scale up and what diagnostic algorithms should be designed for these groups under a range of resource constraints
  • To identify the priority aspects of TB diagnosis and treatment programs that must be strengthened to maximize case detection, and to suggest how this might be accomplished
  • To assess how the implementation of case detection scale up may affect uptake, utilization, and resource needs of related health services (e.g. HIV and MDRTB services)

Opening date – 14th July 2013

Closing date – 5th August 2013

Please see the Request for Applications section on the Consortium website for more details, and to submit an application.

09 July 2013

TB MAC Meeting 2 (TB Diagnostics)

Our second meeting, “Impact and cost-effectiveness of current and future diagnostics for TB” held April 2013 in Amsterdam, aimed to bring together experts in the field of TB diagnostics to improve the contribution of modelling to the development, deployment and evaluation of novel TB diagnostics. Work focussed on 4 specific areas of research, or workstreams:

1) Informing scale-up strategies for Xpert MTB/RIF

2) Developing and selecting target product profiles (TPPs) for novel TB assays

3) Understanding the role of drug susceptibility testing (DST) in existing and novel TB drug regimens

4) Describing analytic and modelling needs for better models of TB diagnostics

These outcomes of workstreams 1 and 4 will be consolidated into an academic paper and submitted by November 2013. Work identified by streams 1 and 2 will be eligible for funding from TB MAC to support work on these modelling questions. The output of stream 3 (development of a "bridging model" to evaluate different algorithms for DST) will be funded though either the Foundation or the TB Alliance, and aligned with the plans to advance NIH‐funded Diagnostics Forum modelling work over the next 12 months.

 

A systematic review of the TB diagnostic modelling literature was carried out for the workshop and is available here.

The meeting consolidated the ongoing process of activating and expanding the field of the TB modelling community. The wide participation and presence of young scientists starting in TB modelling shows that this process is already underway. In future, TB MAC will continue to bring together new and experienced TB modellers, along with data experts around specific topics to share novel research and experiences, and to provide new focus and energy to the field.

For more information, please see the full meeting report.

 

08 July 2013

Modelling Course at the 44th Union World Conference on Lung Health

TB MAC will be running a one day TB modelling session, "An Introduction to TB Modelling" at this year’s Union World Conference on Lung Health.

Aimed at individuals interested in understanding or looking to start modelling tuberculosis and its contribution of modelling to support policy decision for TB care and control programmes, the course will introduce participants to the basic structures, assumptions, principles, and concepts of tuberculosis modelling. We will cover key aspects of Mtb natural history that affect modelling as well as the impact and cost-effectiveness of TB care and control programmes. Participants will get hands-on experience of using a simple TB model and will  learn  how to critically appraise tuberculosis modelling papers. The day finishes by highlighting the role of modelling for policy and decision-making, and how TB MAC supports this process.

To apply please visit the Union website here

01 July 2013

New TB MAC Resources available

TB MAC offers open access resources to support and encourage anybody with an interest in TB modelling (http://www.tb-mac.org/Resources/). These include a systematic literature review of all TB mathematical modelling papers, that we update regularly (the current version was last updated in June 2013). We also have selected collections on specific subject areas, including studies that modelled TB in high HIV prevalence settings, and modelling of novel diagnostics for active TB disease. Future collections will be added over time.
 
We hope you find these useful, and would love to hear from you so please email tb-mac@lshtm.ac.uk if you have any comments or questions!