BCCDC Foundation as a Connector: Molecular Epidemiology of TB in BC

BCCDC Foundation as a Connector: Molecular Epidemiology of TB in BC

The excerpt below is from the Foundation’s 2017-18 Annual Report, which can be found in it’s entirety on the Foundation’s website .

Led by Drs Jay Johnston and Jennifer Gardy, Molecular Epidemiology of TB in BC was a five-year project funded by the Foundation that recently wrapped up, and with our support the team was able to undertake the largest complete genomic study of TB transmission to date – nearly 1500 TB genomes. Working on genotyping and sequencing tuberculosis bacteria collected in BC between 2005-14, Drs Gardy and Johnston feel that the impact of this project has been profound, a world first, and is generating actionable insights into TB transmission and is changing how BC approaches TB prevention. The work has generated 16 publications (with more on the way) and been presented internationally, with over 50 invited talks and poster presentations. Begun with funds through the Foundation, additional funds were secured through Genome BC, allowing the Foundation to successfully leverage our initial investment. When asked to report on any challenges or limitations encountered during the study, Dr Gardy stated, “None – this project has been the best experience of our scientific lives so far!”. It is with statements like that, the Foundation is eager to support such a great team undertaking valuable work.

One of the things we are proud of is the extent to which student trainees were able to participate. Over the span of the five-year projects, there were 11 students ranging from PhD to undergrad, working on different aspects.

The initial BCCDC Foundation investment enabled the research team to secure additional funding from multiple sources, totaling over $1.2 million dollars, as the project grew and opportunities arose to study different facets of the data. The project has, per Dr Gardy , “ultimately convinced the BC Public Health Lab to adopt routine genotyping … and will change the way we diagnose and track TB in BC forevermore”.

Some of the publications from this project can be found here  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5850024/ , here  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6107743/   and here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30280646

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