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UK: NRI awarded prize for TB research
October 25, 2005 14:53 IST
Leading NRI physician Ajit Lalvani has won the Scientific Prize of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease for his research into the functioning of vaccines against the ailment. Commending the outstanding research work done by Dr Lalvani, Dr Mario Raviglione, Director General of World Health Organisation, Geneva, said his latest discovery has helped in understanding, for the first time, how the 60 year old BCG vaccine functions.
"Our findings show that children can be protected against Tuberculosis infection by vaccination," said Lalvani, son of Kartar Lalvani, who founded the Vitabiotics Ltd. "Until now, managing TB has always been a two-pronged approach, preventing disease progression from latent to active TB and treating patients with active TB.
Now we know we can protect against infection, so it's a three-pronged approach," he said. Lalvani is Wellcome Senior Clinical Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Physician in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Oxford. He leads a research group funded by the Wellcome Trust to investigate the immunology of TB infection and is also a grant recipient from the World Health Organisation.
Ajit has pioneered a new field of T cell-based diagnosis of TB infection. Since 1996, clinical studies carried out by Ajit and his colleagues over several years have proven the immense clinical value of this T cell-based test for diagnosis of TB infection and disease, making it the 100-year upgrade on the less reliable skin test for TB diagnosis.