Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa to study intersection of COVID-19, tuberculosis pandemics

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Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], August 18 (ANI): A consortium of doctors and researchers from India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa have partnered to conduct a study on the epidemiological impact and intersection of the COVID-19 and Tuberculosis pandemics in these countries, Ministry of Science and Technology said.

Under this joint research, the teams from these countries will explore the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the epidemiological characteristics of TB infection and search for mechanisms responsible for the interaction of these two processes, according to the statement.

According to the ministry, the countries will also search for strategies to mitigate the negative consequences of the pandemic and develop individual recommendations for each participating country, which can help overcome the impact of epidemics of respiratory viral diseases on the epidemic of tuberculosis.

Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa currently rank 2nd to 5th in the number of cases of COVID-19 and belong to 24 countries recognized by WHO with the highest burden of tuberculosis in the world. Moreover, BRICS countries have the largest number of cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Hence the research will be conducted in these 4 BRICS countries where one of the highest-burden rates of both COVID-19 and tuberculosis has been recorded simultaneously.

The teams will assess the impact of COVID-19 on trends in the structure of the M. tuberculosis population, primarily through the interaction between scientists from Russia and India. The teams from Brazil and South Africa will evaluate the impact of tuberculosis on the clinical course and treatment outcomes for COVID-19 at the individual level.

According to the science ministry, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictive measures on morbidity and tuberculosis-related mortality will be assessed using mathematical modeling.

This collaborative research will provide a differentiated country-based assessment of the negative consequences of COVID-19 on the provision of anti-tuberculosis care, its continuity, consistency, and adequacy through a comparative analysis of the inter-country similarities and differences in the interaction of the two epidemics at the population and individual level.

The analysis will provide insights into the most important points of application for epidemiological, medico-social, clinical, and socio-economic interventions that are expected to reduce morbidity and mortality from the interaction of COVID-19 and TB in both the short and long term, the ministry said.

The approach used will allow the development of a unique platform for mathematical modeling of the epidemic tuberculosis process, which will also support and enhance epidemic modeling capabilities in BRICS countries and thus provide a solid foundation for future collaborative modeling research. (ANI)

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