Evaluating a new stool based qPCR for diagnosis of tuberculosis in children and people living with HIV
The overarching goal of the study is to improve TB diagnosis by increasing bacteriological confirmation rates among pediatric and HIV-positive presumptive TB cases.
Despite significant progress in TB diagnostics, improvement of childhood TB diagnosis continues to be a major challenge. TB laboratory confirmation is particularly challenging in children and PLHIV given the difficulty in obtaining sputum samples and the pauci-bacillary nature of disease. In consequence, bacteriological confirmation of pulmonary TB in young children and immunosuppressed PLHIV remains disappointingly low. Developing new tools and identifying easy to collect non-respiratory specimens can improve bacteriological confirmation.
The project aims to validate an innovative stool homogenization and DNA isolation method that yields a highly sensitive and specific Mtb qPCR-based diagnostic. STool4TB will evaluate this platform in the high TB and HIV burden settings of Mozambique, eSwatini and Uganda. Given the lack of available tools to effectively monitor TB treatment, STool4TB will also evaluate the usefulness of this quantitative stool-based qPCR as a TB treatment monitoring tool for children and PLHIV. This platform has the potential to be adapted to a POC diagnostic and thus easily implemented in resource constrained basic health care centres.
Finally, the Stool4TB project aims to create a TB diagnostic network among African high TB burden countries with the capacity to conduct clinical studies of novel diagnostics and new drugs with a focus on children and PLHIV.
AIGHD Research Lead
Prof. dr. Frank Cobelens
Fundación Privada Instituto de Salud Global Barcelona (ISGLobal)
Baylor College of Medicine Childrens Foundation – Swaziland
Centro de Investigacao em Saude de Manhica (CISM)
Research Center Borstel
Spain, Uganda, Mozambique, Swaziland, Germany and the Netherlands