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New Developments in Our Basic Understanding of Tuberculosis (A5)
As a contagious disease, tuberculosis remains endemic in many countries and among vulnerable populations. In these settings, it is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. During the past two decades, there has been a renewed effort to develop vaccines and new antibiotics. However, new discoveries that have transformed our understanding of host susceptibility, immunity and disease pathogenesis have not kept pace with the progress of clinical trials. There is a need for new approaches that can limit the impact of tuberculosis around the world. This symposium will focus on fundamental questions about the host-pathogen interaction, bringing together scientists working on the bacterium and the host in model systems, as well as those trying to address basic questions in human immunology and disease. While answering these questions may not be a prerequisite to clinical progress, an improved mechanistic understanding of the survival and subversion strategies that Mycobacterium tuberculosis employs to evade therapy and host immunity will facilitate development of better strategies to treat and prevent tuberculosis. Specifically, the goals of the meeting are to: 1) Articulate a set of priority questions and goals to guide a basic research agenda for the field; 2) Integrate successful approaches employed by leading scientists in other fields that can address knowledge gaps in immunity to tuberculosis; 3) Highlight new technical advances that make possible more sophisticated human experimental biology including defining the critical questions that need to be answered to expedite clinical advances.
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