A week of scientific news at the 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health

An unprecedented scientific programme took centre stage at the 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health last week in The Hague.

The rapporteur session illustrated the conference was built on both emerging science and the sense of urgency driven by the recent United Nations High-Level Meeting on tuberculosis (TB). Dr Keren Middelkoop, Chair of Coordinating Committee of Scientific Activities, said, “It’s been an exciting programme. This year´s conference built on both the groundswell of emerging science presented at last year’s conference and the urgent political commitments driven by the recent United Nations High Level Meeting on TB in New York.”

The Union World Conference had over 1000 abstracts presented over the 4 day scientific programme. The full Rapporteur session slides can be viewed here.

Dr Paula Fujiwara, Scientific Director at The Union spoke to Radio France International to explain the biggest news that came out of the conference, “The important scientific highlights, coming after the UN High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis in New York in September, include a new diagnosis method using a stool sample for diagnosing TB in children.” Dr Fujiwara continues to explain young children cannot use the current diagnostic method because they are often unable to cough a sputum specimen on command and this new method of testing stools has huge advantages.

She goes on to highlight the success of the latest drugs to cure TB, saying, “At the conference we heard about the use of a new medication, Bedaquiline, which has shown in a study in Belarus, that even extensively resistant TB, has had a 93 percent success rate.” 

Announced at TBScience 2018 - the pre-conference to the 49th Union World Conference - was another significant highlight, the potential GSK vaccine to prevent active TB in adults.

Listen to the full broadcast on Sound Cloud here.