Each year, World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. Each day, nearly 4000 lose their lives to TB, and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. The theme of World TB Day 2021 is ‘The Clock is Ticking’. It is high time that we bring back the much-needed attention to TB, despite the COVID pandemic, to not lose the gain achieved over the last decade. In connection with World Tuberculosis Day, Manipal McGill Program for Infectious Diseases, MAHE, Manipal, Department of Infectious Diseases, KMC Manipal & Mayo Clinic Center Tuberculosis, USA organized a Virtual International Symposium on Tuberculosis on March 24, 2021.
Dr. Sharath Rao, Dean, KMC Manipal welcomed the gathering. Dr. Kavitha Saravu, the Coordinator of MAC ID and Head of Infectious disease, gave the introduction of the symposium. The Conference was inaugurated by our Chief Guest, the Vice-Chancellor. Lt. Gen. (Dr) M D Venkatesh. The MACID newsletter ‘Contagion’ was released by the guest of honour, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of MAHE, Dr. PLNG Rao. He wished the best for the deliberations. Dr. T S Murali, Associate Professor, Dept. of Biotechnology, Manipal School of Life Sciences, proposed the vote of thanks.
The program’s organizing chairpersons were Dr. Kavitha Saravu, Dr. Madhukar Pai, Director McGill International TB Centre McGill University Canada, and Dr. Zelalem Temesgen, Director, HIV Program & Director, Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis Division of Infectious Disease Mayo Clinic, USA.
Dr. Claudia Denkinger, Head of Division, Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany, took an insightful lecture on ‘Advances in Molecular TB Diagnostics’. She discussed alternative methods for sampling and newer molecular diagnostics for improved and faster detection of TB. Dr Mahadev Rao, Professor & Head, Dept. of Pharmacy Practice, MCOPS, MAHE, Manipal, took an exciting session on ‘Precision therapy for TB: The way forward.’ He shared the results of the extensive research that he has done on this topic in Manipal. Dr. Guy Thwaites, Professor of Infectious Diseases, Director, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), Vietnam, delivered a passionate talk on ‘TB meningitis: Improving the treatment outcomes’. He threw light on the most challenging aspects of the diagnostics and TB management of the brain. Dr. C Padmapriyadarsini, Director / Scientist F (Medical), National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis [ICMR] Chennai, delivered an enlightening lecture on ‘MDR TB: New regimens and advances’ with special emphasis on the use of these regimens in Indian settings. Dr. Dick Menzies, Director, McGill International TB Centre, Canada, took the concluding talk on ‘Latent TB Infection in high-burden settings: To treat or not to treat?’ and discussed a vital aspect of TB prevention.