ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic has been designated a Regional Tuberculosis Training and Medical Consultation Center by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As such, it will be responsible for developing new and enhanced training and technical support for medical and public health professionals in an 11-state area.
"This is a great opportunity for Mayo to continue its long tradition of tuberculosis research and patient care, by ensuring that providers everywhere have the latest information and training," says Zelalem Temesgen, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic's Center for Tuberculosis.
The award recognizes Mayo Clinic as a global leader in the treatment of patients with TB and in the education and training of medical professionals, says Dr. Temesgen. The new Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis will serve Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.
Mayo Clinic's history in tuberculosis research goes back to the first half of the 20th century, when Mayo physicians and scientists conducted both animal studies and early clinical trials on the first successful TB drug. The expertise and technology has grown ever since.
TB has declined over the years, with the rise of better drugs and public health systems. However, support and training lagged in the 1980s and early '90s, resulting in a brief upswing in reported cases in the United States. Renewed emphasis resulted in another decline, to the lowest level on record, but Dr. Temesgen says it should not be accompanied with complacency. Over 10,000 new TB cases were reported in the U.S. in 2011. Globally, TB remains the second leading cause of death from infectious disease, with upwards of 1.5 million deaths in 2010.
The growth of antibiotic-resistant strains of TB and other diseases has caught the attention of the World Economic Forum; Mayo Clinic president and CEO John Noseworthy, M.D., will be discussing the issue on a panel at the global summit in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday, January 25.