TAM-TB assay A New Blood Test to Identify TB in Children

A novel blood test offers a fast and appropriate tool to diagnose tuberculosis in kids, new proof-of-concept research shows. The recently designed examine (TAM-TB assay) is the initial efficient immunodiagnostic assay to identify active tuberculosis in kids. The test features fantastic specificity, an identical sensitivity as culture assessments in combo with speed of a blood examine. The ensuring results are a main advance for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in kids, especially in tuberculosis-endemic areas.Scientists developed a new blood test that offers a fast and appropriate tool to diagnose tuberculosis in kids.

The research has been presented on Sept 1st, 2014 in Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Tuberculosis (TB) in kids is a severe public health issue particularly in low-resource nations. Around one million kids per year develop tuberculosis globally. However, the medical diagnosis of paediatric TB creates a main challenge. TB symptoms in kids are usually non-specific and very similar to those of general paediatric conditions, such as pneumonia and malnutrition. Further, getting sufficient respiratory samples for direct mycobacterial verification is difficult. Therefore, there is an immediate require for a more accurate, fast and cost-effective diagnostic test for childhood tuberculosis.

The new diagnostic test known as TAM-TB assay is a sputum-independent blood examine. It utilizes an immunological phenomenon while in tuberculosis disease: While in an active infection, the appearance of CD27 (a surface marker expressed on mycobacteria particular CD4+ T cells) is lost. Making use of conventional intracellular cytokine staining processes and polychromatic flow cytometry, the test outcome is accessible within one day after blood sampling.

New blood test evaluated in tuberculosis endemic areas in Tanzania

The new diagnostic test was evaluated in tuberculosis endemic areas in Tanzania at the NIMR Mbeya Medical Research Center and the Ifakara Health Institute. Blood and sputum samples were collected from kids with tuberculosis symptoms to evaluate the functionality of the new test with culture tests. For the evaluation of the diagnostic efficiency of the new diagnostic test, the kids were allocated to standardized clinical case categories based on microbiological and clinical results. The test proven to have a good sensitivity and fantastic specificity.

“This quick and efficient diagnostic test has the great possibilities to considerably enhance the diagnosis of active TB in kids” states study coordinator Klaus Reither.

In a collaborative hard work between Swiss TPH and Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität München, the diagnostic test will now be additional refined to improve efficiency, especially in HIV-infected kids, and to decrease costs. The objective is to eventually validate and apply a quick, effective and accurate test for active paediatric tuberculosis that can be employed on the district level in resource poor, tuberculosis endemic nations.