[ANSWER] Problem-Solving Quotient: One Solution

After considering 26 sources, one team proposed establishing a pilot model for India, which if successful could be applied worldwide. The plan, briefly summarized here, includes vaccinating everyone with the Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine at birth and performing blood tests on those in at-risk populations or those who show symptoms of tuberculosis. The model outlines costs and demographics including the fact that 2 million people in India have TB. It estimates that 0.17 percent of those tested will test positive, and all efforts will be made to treat them all.

Those diagnosed with TB would receive treatment based on various factors. Those susceptible to drugs would receive a daily dose of isoniazid, rifampin, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol with direct observed therapy for 8 weeks, followed by 18 weeks of either a daily or twice weekly dose of isoniazid/rifampin. Those with latent TB would receive a dose weekly for 12 weeks of isoniazid and rifapentine with direct observed therapy. Highly individualized treatment would be given to those with multi-drug resistant TB, with the core treatment being fl uoroquinolone antibiotics (ofl oxacin, levofl oxacin, and moxifl oxacin), an injectable agent (capreomycin, kanamycin, and amikacin), and direct observed therapy. Those with extensively drug-resistant TB would receive two or more second-line or third-line drugs—such as amoxicillin-clavulanate, clarithromycin, clofazimine, and rifabutin—for 26 months with direct observed therapy.

— Members of the team included Mary Higgins ’15, biology; Brian Cantor ’15, biology; and Victoria Corbit ’13. Corbit, a neuroscience graduate, is now in the graduate program at Center for Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh. She plans to focus on computational and systems neuroscience, specifically investigating how a brain network—the basal ganglia—functions and to eventually model it. She is working in a lab that studies how this system is affected in Parkinson’s Disease in primates, and how deep brain stimulation acts as a treatment.