Tuberculosis is a major public health problem in Cambodia, which is one of the countries having the most cases observed in the world. WHO estimates that there are approximately 36,000 cases reported in 2015 out of the population of 16 million (more than 2 cases for every 1000 people). Tuberculosis is transmitted through airways via expectoration of the Koch Bacillus by the patients. This disease affects both adults and children. In Cambodia, newborns are vaccinated at birth with BCG, which protects the most severe form of this disease.
The risk of developing into tuberculosis is all the more important as a person is immunocompromised as in the case of AIDS. Managing the concomitant administration of antiretroviral and anti-tuberculosis drugs is complicated due to the side effects of treatments and the occurrence of paradoxical reaction of the body.
IPC has been conducting research for several years in order to improve the survival of patients co-infected with both HIV and tuberculosis, to improve the difficult diagnosis of tuberculosis in children and to better understand the immune mechanisms in connection with paradoxical reaction observed. These studies, carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Health with the support of the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis, could already propose new international recommendations which will considerably increase the survival of patients.
Moreover, in Asia and Cambodia, we are witnessing an increase in resistance of tubercle bacillus (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) to anti-tuberculosis drugs. WHO estimated that there are more than 500 cases of drug resistance in Cambodia. In this context, IPC is collaborating with the National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP) to conduct a genetic study of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in order to understand the emergence and spread of bacilli resistance to anti-tuberculosis drug, to study about their transmissions in the Country, and to provide useful information for improving the fighting against TB in Cambodia.