Tuberculosis is a treatable disease that continues to kill millions of people globally. Most infected people live in regions where a timely diagnosis is not currently possible. This is due to current sample types, collection methods, and lack of testing infrastructure. In such regions, people continually go untreated due to missed and delayed diagnosis.

In this study, the researchers wanted to find a simple panel of blood-based biomarkers that could be used as the starting point for developing a rapid, cost-effective more readily available POC (point-of-care) test for active TB.

Over 400 patients with persistent cough and TB-like symptoms from Africa and Asia were recruited for the discovery portion of this study. Roughly half of the patients were diagnosed with active TB by experienced TB clinicians. 387 plasma samples from this cohort were tested with Myriad RBM’s Human InflammationMAP.

This Luminex-based quantitative, multiplexed assay is comprised of 47 analytes designed to quantitate inflammatory biomarkers a in a cost-effective, efficient manner. Myriad RBM’s internally developed and manufactured immunoassays are validated in a CLIA-certified laboratory to ensure quality reproducible results.

After analyzing the data, it was found that four cytokine markers showed the strongest association with active TB: interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8), interleukin-18 (IL-18), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

An algorithm comprising these four biomarkers was verified by testing an independent multinational cohort utilizing the Simoa ultrasensitive immunoassay platform.

The results of this study provide the foundations for the next steps of building and deploying a simple POC blood-based biomarker test that can distinguish and diagnose patients with active tuberculosis in a faster, more readily available method than currently available.

Click here to view the full article: A rapid triage test for active pulmonary tuberculosis in adult patients with persistent cough.

  1. A rapid triage test for active pulmonary tuberculosis in adult patients with persistent cough. Ahmad R, et al. Science Translational Medicine, Volume 11, 23 Oct 2019; DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaw8287