Project Coordinator: Andrea Rachow, MD
In collaboration with FIND-Diagnostics (Geneva), Chemogen Inc. (USA), University College London (UCL), University of Cape Town (UCT) and other partners, new diagnostics for simple and rapid detection of TB and drug resistance in adults and children are being developed and evaluated.
Currently, the portfolio in evaluation comprises PCR-based methods directly from smear positive sputum or positive culture, such as Xpert MTB/RIF Assay®, Hain MTBDRplus® and LAMP. Additionally we further evaluate IFN-y release assays (IGRAs) and different ELISAs for their performance in detection of childhood TB. Moreover new markers for TB treatment course and their capability of predicting treatment outcome are under investigation. Together with UCL transrenally excreted mycobacterial DNA is evaluated as biomarker for anti TB- treatment course. Furthermore TB-diagnosis by stool PCR will be established at the site with the aim to improve DNA-extraction methods and diagnostic accuracy of existing PCR-strategies. In a joined research project with UCT out of other research question the performance of a new generation of urine LAM-ELISA and its impact on TB-diagnostic in resource constrained countries is investigated.
As reference standard we use culture on solid and liquid media followed by molecular species determination and drug susceptibility testing using the Bactec MGIT-system performed in our state-of-the art tuberculosis laboratory.