Associate Professor Graeme Meintjes of the Department of Medicine received the European Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) Rising Star Africa Award for 2013.
Meintjes attracted attention with his work in the field of HIV and TB research and he is the lead investigator on the randomised placebo-controlled trial of prednisone for the treatment of Tuberculosis-Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome (TB-IRIS), which demonstrated that prednisone provides benefits in terms of reduced hospitalisation and improvement in symptoms.
This was the first clinical trial of IRIS treatment and the evidence has been incorporated into national and international guidelines. His work has defined the diagnostic approach to TB-IRIS, highlighting the importance of excluding drug-resistant TB. Professor Meintjes says there is definitely a need for TB-preventive therapy that, when added to ART, reduces the risk of TB by 37%, as reported in The Lancet recently by a team led by Dr Molebogeng Rangaka of the Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Initiative.
His work has defined the diagnostic approach to TB-IRIS, highlighting the importance of excluding
Since 2005, Associate Professor Meintjes has also collaborated with researchers from St George’s Hospital, London, on trials aimed at improving initial treatment of cryptococcal meningitis.
As a result of this research, he was asked to be a member of the WHO’s Guidelines Development Group for guidelines on the diagnosis, prevention and management of cryptococcal infection in adults and children, thereby impacting policy and clinical practice in Africa.