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TB Notes 2, 2003

Dear Colleague:

World TB Day was observed in a number of interesting and important ways by CDC and many other groups and institutions. On March 21, CDC published three items about TB in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): a short piece about World TB Day, an article about M. tuberculosis transmission resulting from a failure to complete treatment for latent TB infection (LTBI) in Mississippi, and an analysis of preliminary U.S. surveillance data for 2002. Staff of the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHSTP) Office of Communications developed a media advisory relating to TB elimination in connection with the MMWR articles. On World TB Day, March 24, 2003, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored a press event in Washington, DC. HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, Dr. Ann Peterson of USAID, Dr. Phil Hopewell of the World Health Organization (WHO), and I spoke at this event; a panel discussion followed these opening remarks. In addition, Dr. Zach Taylor of the Field Services Branch (FSB) participated in a press event on World TB Day in Chicago. Scott McCoy of the Communications and Education Branch (CEB) contributed substantively to a TB editorial for Secretary Thompson’s signature that was published on World TB Day. On March 27, World TB Day was observed by the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission during a highly successful event in El Paso, Texas. That well-attended event featured the U.S.-Mexico Binational TB Referral and Case Management Pilot Project, which is a collaborative effort of the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, the Mexican Ministry of Health, and numerous other state and local programs involved in TB control. Training has now been completed for providers involved with the pilot project of the Binational TB Card. Although World TB Day is over, information on related events, fact sheets, posters, and other materials are available at the World TB Day page of the DTBE Web site,

I am very happy to convey the good news that, after a smaller-than-usual decline in 2001, the reduction in U.S. TB cases has apparently resumed its previous downward trend: DTBE has provisionally reported that TB cases dropped almost 6% from 2001 to 2002, as reported in the March 21, 2003, MMWR that I mentioned above. You are doing a remarkable job of controlling TB, despite the considerable challenges that are confronting all of us. However, a less favorable development is that the FY 2003 TB budget is undergoing additional reductions and adjustments resulting from a 0.65% Office of Management and Budget (OMB) rescission and a Congressionally-directed increase (from 1% to 2.1%) in the evaluation tap. The net gain from the $3.8 million increase in appropriations is approximately $500,000 in fiscal year (FY) 2003. This budgetary impact on DTBE activities in FY 2003 is resulting in the curtailment of three new research projects we were planning to begin, and the tightening of budget projections related to direct assistance and support for TB outbreaks. A similar budgetary impact on Division of AIDS, STD, and TB Laboratory Research (DASTLR)-supported activities through the TB elimination cooperative agreements has resulted in a 7% reduction of funds for laboratory support.

In organizational matters, external consultants have recommended that DASTLR, currently housed in CDC’s National Center for Infectious Disease (NCID), be organizationally relocated within NCHSTP. DASTLR is scheduled to be transferred to NCHSTP in June 2003; formal signatures and an announcement are forthcoming. Owing to the extensive collaborations between staff of DTBE and DASTLR, this is a very welcome and logical change, and will further program and laboratory collaborative efforts.

The Research and Evaluation Branch (REB) reports that TB Trials Consortium Study 27 is ready to enroll patients. This study will assess the impact on the 2-month sputum culture conversion rate of using moxifloxacin during the standard intensive phase of TB treatment. Please contact REB at (404) 639-8123 for more information about the trial.

Division staff have been busy planning and attending various meetings recently. Members of the TB Epidemiologic Studies Consortium (TBESC) met April 9-11 in Chicago for their third semiannual meeting. The majority of their time was devoted to discussion of the three TBESC priority studies in the following categories: 1) Foreign-born, 2) LTBI, and 3) contact investigations. For an update on TBESC activities, please see the article by Viva Combs of the Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch (SEB) in this issue. The regionalization project (TBESC task order 6) group met in Atlanta on April 28. DTBE convened a Model Centers Summit in Atlanta on April 29-30; representatives from the Model Centers and the NTCA attended. Dr. Lisa Rosenblum of SEB convened a consultation of genotyping experts on May 1-2 in Atlanta. The American Thoracic Society will convene its 99th International Conference May 16-21, 2003, in Seattle, Washington. In June, DTBE and the National TB Controllers Association (NTCA) will jointly hold the 2003 National TB Controllers Workshop in Washington, DC (more on that meeting in the next paragraph), and the TB Education and Training Network has begun preparations for the TB Education and Training Network (TB ETN) Annual Conference, which will convene in Atlanta, August 13-15, 2003. A brief article herein describes the conference, and a registration form for this conference has been included at the back of this issue.

The 2003 National TB Controllers Workshop is being held June 10-11, 2003, at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC; in addition, preworkshop and postworkshop meetings will be held June 8-9 and June 12. The theme for this year’s workshop is “Maintaining Momentum.” The presentations and activities will highlight new strategies and initiatives that will enable us to maintain the momentum we have achieved in our goal of eliminating TB. The focus of this meeting will be in the context of our priority activities: case management, contact investigations, and targeted testing and treatment of latent TB infection. As you know, the workshop committee has also invited TB control staff to submit poster abstracts. These posters are always a very important means of obtaining the input and contributions of TB control staff from across the nation in high- and low-morbidity states and cities. The 2003 workshop will be organized as it has been in previous years. I look forward to seeing you in June!

Please note the following updates on new publications/products of interest: the new ATS/CDC/IDSA guidelines on TB treatment will be printed soon in the MMWR with continuing medical education (CME) credits offered. The TB Information Resource Guide on CD-ROM has been updated and is available for ordering in May. In addition, new health information privacy standards have been issued by HHS in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 and are effective April 14, 2003. The new standards may be accessed at

Kenneth G. Castro, MD

NOTE: The use of trade names in this issue is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the Public Health Service or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
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