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TBnet Newsletter May 2022

TBnet Academy in Tbilisi, Georgia was a great success!

On 15-18 May 2022, the TBnet held its annual teaching academy at the National Center for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases in Tbilisi, Georgia. TBnet Academy brings together young clinicians and researchers from across Europe to participate in an intensive 3-day programme, including teaching ward rounds, a laboratory tour, and student-led lectures. The participants are mentored by an expert team of clinicians and scientists. These international collaborations, particularly in times of war and economic instability in the European region, are vital to ensure continued exchange of scientific ideas and clinical knowledge in addition to cultural education and friendship. This year TBnet brought together participants from 11 countries who together with the faculty spent four days learning, teaching, exchanging ideas both in the seminar room and at social events which created an incredibly professional and friendly atmosphere. TBnet is grateful to everyone who participated and especially to the Georgian colleagues who hosted the Academy and made these four days unforgettable!

Find photos and more information about the TBnet Academy 2022 on TBnet social media: Facebook and Twitter


Meet TBnet partners: National Center for Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Tbilisi, Georgia

In the section “Meet TBnet partners” we provide descriptions of centers and organizations that cooperate with the TBnet and who’s staff members are engaged in the TBnet network.

National Center for Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (NCTLD) has hosted the recent TBnet Academy providing excellent training opportunity for the participants.

NCTLD is located in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. It develops and implements the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) and is overseeing tuberculosis (TB) control measures in the whole of Georgia. Until 2016 Georgia was on the list of countries with a high burden of MDR-TB. Due to successful implementation of the NTP, Georgia was removed from this list. For the last 10 years, the incidence of all TB cases in Georgia decreased by more than 50% and the incidence of DR-TB cases decreased by about 50%. Currently, NCTLD works towards reaching End-TB strategy milestones by further reducing TB and DR-TB incidence as well as improving treatment outcomes in the country.

NCTLD consists of four inpatient departments; department for thoracic surgery; extrapulmonary TB department; children’s department and X-ray service. NCTLD is a home for the National Reference Laboratory that performs bio-surveillance and biomedical research at national and International levels. Additionally, NCTLD includes laboratories for general microbiology, immunology, biochemistry and other facilities.

More information can be found at the home page of the NCTLD:


A COST proposal where TBnet is a partner has been selected for funding! Congratulations!

A proposal with Acronym ADVANCE-TB, full title “TowArDs an improVement in diAgNostiCs and trEatment strategies for TB control” has been selected for funding. TBnet is one of the 38 partners from 22 countries of the consortium. The coordinating organization is the Research Institute Germans Trias I Pujol, Barcelona, Spain represented by Jose Dominguez and Alicia Lacoma. The grant is provided by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), a funding organisation for the creation of research networks, called COST Actions. COST funding is exclusively dedicated to cover collaboration activities, such as workshops, conferences, working group meetings, training schools, short-term scientific missions etc.

More details regarding this grant will come in the next Newsletter.


A new TBnet study is published!

Rifapentine is a drug which has been developed more than 50 years ago. Recent trial results have shown that rifapentine-based regimens have the potential to significantly shorten and simplify current treatment regimens for LTBI, down to one month, and TB, down to four months. Despite being approved by US FDA and included in WHO essential medicine list, rifapentine is still not registered in Europe. According to a recent survey by the TBnet, rifapentine is available only in six out of 43 (14%) participating countries in the WHO Europe region. Signatories of three major European scientific societies involved in TB research and care (the European Society of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, the European Respiratory Society and the European Society of Mycobacteriology) together with TBnet representatives have authored a letter denouncing the lack of access to rifapentine and urging the manufacturer to register this drug in Europe. This letter was recently published in the prestigious European Respiratory Journal.

Guglielmetti L, Günther G, Leu C, Cirillo D, Duarte R, Garcia-Basteiro A, Goletti D, Jankovic M, Kuksa L, Maurer FP, Méchaï F, Tiberi S, van Leth F, Veziris N, Lange C; on behalf of the ESGMYC, ESM, ERS, and the TBnet. Eur Respir J 59 (5) 2200388; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.00388-2022 Published 19 May 2022


A report from the UNITE4TB Annual Meeting

TBnet is one of the partners of the UNITE4TB consortium. On 10-12 May 2022 TBnet attended the 1st UNITE4TB Annual Meeting at the Munich Residence in Germany. Hosted by the Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine of the LMU University Hospital, this was the first full-Consortium face-to-face meeting since the launch of the project last year.

UNITE4TB consortium
UNITE4TB consortium

During the meeting, each of 12 Work Packages gave an update on their progress, discussed challenges and future plans. Work Package 11 – Implementation, dissemination & communication​, which TBnet is part of, has very good progress with all planned deliverables achieved and reported on time.

WP 11
Team of the WP 11

The meeting attendees also heard from vital groups within the project, such as the Community Advisory Group (CAG) – established to represent the views of the TB community at all stages of the project and the Young Investigators Group (YIG) – responsible for relaying content shared via the UNITE4TB communication channels to a broader audience. YIG was established with support of TBnet and includes several active TBnet members.

For the next year several UNITE4TB activities are planned, including public webinars every two months. All TBnet members are kindly invited to the webinars to learn more about various aspects of TB research. Please follow UNITE4TB and TBnet on social media not to miss future events.

TBnet: Twitter: @TBnet_EU Facebook: TBnet

UNITE4TB has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 101007873. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA, Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung e. V. (DZIF), and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU). EFPIA/AP contribute to 50% of funding, whereas the contribution of DZIF and the LMU University Hospital Munich has been granted by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


Reminder: TBnet Annual Meeting – live - September the 2d, Barcelona, Spain

TBnet Annual Meeting is being planned in connection to the ERS Congress 2022, Barcelona.

Save the date - September 2d, Friday - and prepare for the trip because this year we have an opportunity to hold the meeting live (in person)! The venue will be at the Research Institute Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP) (Barcelona/Badalona)


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