Nutrition, Immunology, and Epidemiology of TB


Principal Investigator:
Wafaie Fawzi, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology

Department of Nutrition

Dates of Research:
August 15, 1999 — July 31, 2007


Tuberculosis (TB) remains the single most common infectious disease cause of mortality. We propose to examine the inter-relationships of nutrition, immunology, and epidemiology with respect to TB in Tanzania. Give that TB has strong links with HIV immunologically, clinically, and epidemiologically, it is essential to examine how these relationships are modified by HIV infection. Published animal and human studies suggest that vitamin deficiency is associated with poor immune response in TB. Nutritional supplements may be a useful adjunct to anti-TB drugs. This study enrolls 600 patients, half of whom have TB and are co-infected with HIV, and the other half that has TB alone. All patients will be randomized to receive either multivitamins or placebo from the start of their TB therapy until 12 months after their TB treatment ends. All patients will receive standard anti-TB therapy and will have regular follow-up visits. Using computer simulation modeling and epidemiological data collected during the follow-up meetings, this study assesses the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different treatment strategies for active TB in Tanzania.