The TBRU Tuberculosis Specimen Repository was established to collect, maintain, and distribute high quality clinical specimens collected during approved TBRU studies. Such specimens are a valuable source of materials for future studies. Funds to support the operations of the Repository come from the NIH/NIAID/DMID Contract to Case Western Reserve University to support the TBRU.
Well-characterized specimens are collected during TBRU clinical trials and household contact studies. These trials and studies are located primarily in Kampala, Uganda at Makerere University. Repository specimens include sputum, blood products, urine, and MTB culture isolates and can be queried by specimen and/or patient characteristics such as HIV status, bacillary load, and radiographic findings.
Repository samples can be made available to TBRU sites and collaborators as well as the NIAID TB contract community according to the TBRU IRB-approved Repository protocol. The Repository protocol provides approval for the use of linked samples by researchers associated with the TBRU, both in the US and at international locations, for research related to the specific mission of the TB Research Unit. Under current guidelines, research using anonymized specimens is regulated by the Common Rule (45 CFR 46) and is exempt from IRB review. Investigators who are not affiliated with the TB Research Unit must submit an IRB approved research protocol in order to obtain linked specimens from the Repository.
The TBRU Specimen Repository is managed by Ms. Maria Rizk. Ms. Rizk is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Specimen Repository including international shipping, maintenance of specimens at the Cleveland Repository site, and management of the collaboration-wide specimen inventory. Ms. Rizk also receives and processes internal and external requests for use of specimens from the TBRU Repository.