Meredith Brooks, PhD

Meredith Brooks, PhD

Harvard Medical School

Research Project:
Geospatial signals in pediatric tuberculosis

Grant Awarded:

  • Catalyst Award

Research Topics:

  • epidemiology
  • public health
  • risk factors

Research Disease:

  • tuberculosis

Cases of children with tuberculosis are considered sentinel events because children become sick and die with this infection much faster than adults do. Yet children have been largely neglected in the study of how tuberculosis spreads and how to control it. Active case-finding efforts are essential to detecting missing cases of tuberculosis and identifying individuals who may benefit from preventive treatment. By using information about the geographic locations and links between child and adult cases of tuberculosis, our research will make children the cornerstone of new tuberculosis surveillance methods to evaluate strategies that can promptly identify tuberculosis transmission, reduce the number of undetected tuberculosis cases and, ultimately, drive down tuberculosis rates globally.

Update: We identified significant geographic variability and evident hot spots of TB infection in children. Additionally, we identified population-level demographics and socioeconomic indicators that were associated with the spatial distribution of TB infection in children, finding that the specific indicators varied by age group. Combined, this information can be used to inform spatially tailored interventions to increase the detection of children at high risk of TB.

Supported by the Mary Fuller Russell Fund

Page last updated: November 17, 2022

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