APRECIT project steering committee reviews activities to improve management of latent tuberculosis in Madagascar and Cameroon
On March 18, 2022, the stakeholders of the APRECIT project met in Madagascar and remotely for the project’s second steering committee for the improvement of the management of latent tuberculosis infection (LTI).
Teams from the Mérieux Foundation, Pasteur Institute of Madagascar, the National Control Program (PNLT) of Madagascar, the CCM Madagascar, and the country’s care sites participating in the project met face-to-face. Teams from the Centre Pasteur in Cameroon, the Cameroon National Association for Family Welfare, the PNLT in Cameroon, and the country’s care sites, as well as representatives from the Initiative, the funding partner, participated remotely.
The steering committee provided an opportunity for each stakeholder to present the activities carried out since the launch of the project and to review their experience, particularly regarding the recruitment and follow-up of patients participating in the study, and the management of risk groups (children under 5 years of age and people living with HIV). The use of preventive treatment for tuberculosis, the laboratory, the impact of COVID-19 and other studies associated with APRECIT were also presented and discussed.
“Diagnosis of Latent Tuberculosis Infections is a major pillar on which countries must rely to end TB by 2050,” said Dr. Eyangoh Sara, Principal Investigator of the Centre Pasteur du Cameroun (CPC). “Community workers have a very important role in these strategies of detection and management of LTBIs,” said Verlaine Mbouchong, project manager at the CPC, followed by Dr. Niaina Rakotosamimanana, Principal Investigator of the Pasteur Institute of Madagascar. “I am very happy to have been able to exchange with the main actors in the fight against tuberculosis in the two countries, working together for a more effective management of the populations who need it most.
“APRECIT is a flagship project for our foundation because it brings together precisely two pillars of our strategy: firstly, community intervention in vulnerable populations, with a mother-child approach, and secondly, the strengthening of health and laboratory systems and diagnostics with an operational research approach. The results that will be produced and the analysis of the data will, at the end of this project, enable us to better orient national programs for the management of tuberculosis infection,” said Laurent Raskine, Specialized Biology Manager at the Mérieux Foundation.
“I would first like to congratulate the teams involved in this project which is a lever for building public policies. […] We hope that the results of this project can be transferred to the national authorities of Madagascar and Cameroon to improve the management, screening and preventive treatment of latent tuberculosis,” added Veronica Noseda, Operational Research Project Manager at Expertise France.
The Centre Pasteur of Cameroon, the Pasteur Institute of Madagascar and the Mérieux Foundation also met in a restricted committee, during a second part of the committee, in order to deepen the discussions on the recruitment of participants and the results of analyses, but also to exchange on the project next steps.
APRECIT, which stands for Amélioration de la PRise En Charge de l’Infection Tuberculeuse latente, is a project conducted in partnership with the Pasteur Institute of Madagascar and the Centre Pasteur of Cameroon, thanks to financial support from the Expertise France Initiative. In conjunction with the national tuberculosis control programs of the two countries, it aims to evaluate the strategies implemented to improve the detection and overall management of LTI in these two countries. In particular, it proposes to:
- Evaluate a community-based intervention model for the screening and management of LTI;
- Evaluate the prognostic and diagnostic value of two IGRA tests in the screening of LTI in comparison with the tuberculin intradermal test (TID).
- Develop a bio-bank specific to the APRECIT project, in order to strengthen local research and development capacities for innovative tools for the diagnosis of tuberculosis;
Contributing to the fight against latent tuberculosis
Latent TB infection is asymptomatic and constitutes an important human reservoir for TB disease. Efforts to end the global TB epidemic therefore face a major challenge. To eliminate TB by 2050 in accordance with the WHO strategy, programmatic management of individuals with latent TB infection is needed.