Russian Foundation for Basic Research published results of the competition for the best scientific projects associated with the global COVID-19 pandemic, organized within the BRICS Framework Program in the field of science, technology and innovation.
Forty-six applications were submitted for the BRICS_COVID-19 competition. As a result of the joint expertise, 10 projects were approved. In particular, project No. 20-515-80006 “Epidemiological impact and intersection of the COVID-19 and tuberculosis pandemics in Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa” was supported.
The basic organization of the Russian team is Novosibirsk Research Institute of Tuberculosis (PI - Prof. Y.S. Schwartz). The Russian team includes researchers of the Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Genetics of St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute, Dr Igor Mokrousov, head of laboratory, and Dr Anna Vyazovaya.
Scientific centers from Brazil (State University of Rio de Janeiro - the coordinator of the entire project), India (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) and South Africa (Stellenbosch University) take part in the project.
The project will be implemented in the four BRICS countries with a concurrent and extraordinary burden of both COVID-19 and TB. As the COVID-19 epidemic escalates in these four countries, understanding the interaction of SARS-CoV-2 and TB is essential to reduce short- and long-term morbidity and mortality. Using a multidisciplinary research approach, the research consortium aims to investigate the epidemiological impact and intersection of the COVID-19 and TB pandemics at the individual (patient) and the population level. Towards this aim, the project has the following 5 key complementary objectives, which will be pursued across all four countries, with each of the country teams leading collaboration in specific domains. The consortium will systematically estimate the impact of COVID-19 and response measures on the TB care cascade (Objective 1), M. tuberculosis molecular population structure and drug-resistance patterns (Objective 2 that will be implemented in Russia by researchers from St. Petersburg), and individual patient outcomes (Objective 3). Using a mixed methods approach, it is planned to identify a set of key measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 response in order so speed recovery of TB services (Objective 4). Finally, innovative mathematical modelling approaches will serve to estimate the effects of COVID-19 on population-level TB incidence and mortality in the 4 countries, and measure the public health impact of interventions to mitigate these effects (Objective 5).
Information about the results of the competition (in Russian):
Information on scientific and technological cooperation between the BRICS countries: http://brics-sti.org/