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TB Notes 2, 2004

Dear Colleague:

This spring brought two important meetings for CDC’s TB control staff. First, the American Thoracic Society (ATS) held its 100th annual conference in Orlando, Florida, May 21-26, 2004. This year the American Lung Association (ALA) celebrated its 100-year anniversary at the ALA/ATS Conference. On May 23, Dr. Dixie Snider and I, representing CDC/OD and DTBE, formally acknowledged ALA's early support for TB control efforts and for its superior, long-standing support and advocacy for public health in general by presenting honorary plaques and a letter of appreciation to the president of the ALA. May 23 was also the date of the CDC-sponsored poster session on TB. As usual, the TB poster presentations were very popular; the DTBE information booth was a success as well.

Second, the 2004 National TB Controllers Workshop was held in Atlanta from Wednesday, June 9, through Friday, June 11, with a number of preworkshop meetings held on June 8. The focus of the meeting was the importance of collaboration between TB control programs and their partners in the TB laboratory, as reflected in the theme of the meeting, “Critical Partnerships for TB Elimination.” On June 9, after several speakers’ updates, Ed Thompson, MD, MPH, Deputy Director for Public Health Services, CDC, gave the keynote speech. The remainder of the day was devoted to presentations and discussions about genotyping. Thursday’s sessions were concerned with the intersection of programs and laboratories. On Friday, we heard about new technology, with two presentations on the QuantiFERON®-TB test. Cellestis, the manufacturer of the QuantiFERON®-TB test, has recently submitted an application for FDA approval of the second generation of the TB diagnostic test.

The current TB treatment guidelines became available to users of personal digital assistants (PDAs) on May 19, 2004. This PDA application, a new reference tool for physicians treating persons with TB, is based on the Treatment of Tuberculosis guidelines and is now available for download and use on PDA Palm OS devices. This interactive program provides current, accurate, user-friendly TB treatment guidelines for health care providers, allowing them to make informed decisions at the point of care.  DTBE introduced and made an initial distribution of this tool in May at the ATS meeting. If you have a Palm OS PDA, we hope you will download the application and try it; please visit the DTBE website ( to access it.

The announcement of the 2005 TB elimination cooperative agreements with state and local health departments was approved by HHS and was published in the Federal Register on May 28. This announcement begins a new project period on January 1, 2005. Staff of the Field Services and Evaluation Branch hosted a Web conference on June 2 with TB controllers to discuss the 2005 TB elimination program announcement.

Dr. Janet Collins, who has been appointed Acting Director of the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHSTP) with Dr. Harold Jaffe’s retirement, met with staff of the Division of AIDS, STD, and TB Laboratory Research (DASTLR) on June 3 to announce the decisions that have been made on the reorganization of the division. Specifically, the four DASTLR branches (Sexually Transmitted Infections Branch; HIV Immunology and Diagnostics Branch; HIV and Retrovirology Branch; and the Tuberculosis/Mycobacteriology Branch) will be transferred organizationally to the Divisions of STD Prevention, HIV/AIDS Prevention: Surveillance & Epidemiology, and TB Elimination, respectively. We welcome this realignment, which is expected to build even stronger linkages between the scientific, programmatic, and laboratory work of NCHSTP. Dr. Dale Hu has agreed to served as acting Associate Director for Laboratory Sciences in a new position that reports to the Director, NCHSTP, and represents lab interests and coordinates lab activities at the highest level within the Center. The reorganization is expected to become operational on July 19, 2004.

Dr. Harold Jaffe's retirement celebration was Friday, June 4. Harold has had a long and distinguished career with CDC, starting in 1974, when he joined CDC as a Clinical Research Investigator with the Venereal Disease Control Program. In 1981, he became an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer and was assigned to study the earliest cases of AIDS, along with Dr. James Curran, currently Dean of the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, and then Coordinator of the CDC Task Force on Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections. Through the 1990s, Harold served in a series of critical, director-level positions in CDC’s HIV/AIDS hierarchy. Since 2001, he has served as Director of the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention. Harold is now leaving CDC, but not public health, accepting a new role as fellow of St. Cross College and Professor of Public Health at the University of Oxford, England. Having known Harold since I arrived at CDC almost 21 years ago, I can attest to the importance of his work and the loss that his departure represents.

I enjoyed seeing many of you at the recent NTCA workshop in Atlanta, and trust that you came away with a renewed appreciation for the important role of the laboratory in TB control, as I did. I want to convey my thanks for all the hard work that went into the posters, presentations, and meetings that went on. Best wishes for a safe and happy summer, and keep up the good work!

Kenneth G. Castro, MD


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

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