Communications Medicine (Mar 2022)

Prospective multicentre head-to-head validation of host blood transcriptomic biomarkers for pulmonary tuberculosis by real-time PCR

  • Simon C. Mendelsohn,
  • Stanley Kimbung Mbandi,
  • Andrew Fiore-Gartland,
  • Adam Penn-Nicholson,
  • Munyaradzi Musvosvi,
  • Humphrey Mulenga,
  • Michelle Fisher,
  • Katie Hadley,
  • Mzwandile Erasmus,
  • Onke Nombida,
  • Michèle Tameris,
  • Gerhard Walzl,
  • Kogieleum Naidoo,
  • Gavin Churchyard,
  • Mark Hatherill,
  • Thomas J. Scriba

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 2, no. 1
pp. 1 – 13


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Plain Language Summary Delays in tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis result in increased disease severity, risk of death, and infection of further individuals. The presence of symptoms is typically used to find people with TB. However, about half of individuals with TB are asymptomatic. We evaluated blood samples from individuals living in areas with high incidence of TB to see whether there were changes in components of the blood following infection with TB. Markers were identified that diagnosed TB in symptomatic adults, but were not as accurate to detect TB in those without symptoms. Most markers tested were able to accurately predict progression to TB within 6 months in HIV-uninfected individuals. These markers in the blood could enable the screening of symptomatic adults and predict TB risk, thus enabling targeting of therapy.