Monthly Archives: November 2012

Come to December’s TB Journal Club

‘People come–they stay for a while, they flourish, they build–and they go. It is their way. But we remain. There were badgers here, I’ve been told, long before that same city ever came to be. And now there are badgers here again. We are an enduring lot, and we may move out for a time, but we wait, and are patient, and back we come. And so it will ever be.’

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, 1908

Topic: Should we kill all the badgers?

Donnelly et al. Positive and negative effects of widespread badger culling on tuberculosis in cattle. Nature 2006; 439: 843-846.

Presenter: Sarah Lou Bailey, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow, LSHTM

Chair: Dave Moore, TB Centre, LSHTM

Time: 5.15pm til 6.15pm (drinks after), Tuesday 18 December 2012

Venue: LG7, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street

To cull or not to cull? That is the question.

Over the past two decades the incidence and geographical extent of bovine TB have been increasing in the UK, resulting in the slaughter of increasing numbers of infected cattle and economic consequences for farmers.

This has prompted several reviews of bovine TB control measures. Patterns of infection in cattle and badgers are closely associated. Various forms of badger culling have been used in the UK over the last three decades in an attempt to control TB in cattle.

The UK Government recently proposed culling more than 70% of badgers in two pilot areas, Gloucestershire and west Somerset. Amid public protests and scientific confusion over the effectiveness of badger culling, these plans have recently been postponed – but not abandoned.

This Nature letter attempts to explain discrepancies in the evidence from cluster randomised controlled trials of badger culling with seemingly conflicting conclusions.

Join us to discuss cluster randomised controlled trials, how evidence is translated into policy and the fate of our black and white friends. Drinks after!

The paper is available here.


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Come to the first ever meeting of the North London TB Journal Club – all welcome!

Topic: Is rifapentine all it’s cracked up to be?

Sterling et al. Three Months of Rifapentine and Isoniazid for Latent Tuberculosis Infection. N Engl J Med 2011; 365: 2155-66.

Presenter: Rob Aldridge, Research Department of Infection and Population Health, UCL

Chair: Tim McHugh, Centre for Clinical Microbiology, Royal Free Campus, UCL

Time: 9am til 10am, Thursday 15 November 2012

Venue: Seminar Room 2, Upper 3rd Floor, Royal Free Hospital (which is hard to find – for directions, click here)

There’s lots of interest in shorter regimes for treating latent TB. Sterling’s paper in NEJM last December got many people excited – a big study showing better completion and less progression to active disease with weekly rifapentine-isoniazid than with 9 months of daily isoniazid.

Should we change our practice?

Does it matter that treatment support differed in the two arms of the study?

Should they have attempted blinding?

Could you take 15 or 16 tablets in one go!?

Join us to discuss the study and broader issues around the treatment of latent TB infection.

The paper is available here – Sterling et al, 2011.

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