EDCTP Alumni Network

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Call Senior Fellowship (SF)
Programme EDCTP2
Start Date 2017-04-01
End Date 2022-03-31
Project Code TMA 2015 SF - 1043
Status Active


Novel biomarkers predictive of susceptibility and treatment response in patients with MDR-TB (DTB)

Host Organisation

Institution Country
University of Cape Town (UCT) South Africa
Call Senior Fellowship (SF)
Programme EDCTP1
Start Date 2008-07-01
End Date 2010-07-31
Project Code TA.2007.40200.010
Status Completed


Novel Biomarkers predictive of susceptibility and treatment response in patients with MDR-TB


To compare compartment-specific IFN- antigen-specific responses in TB versus non-TB patients. To procure and bank biological material (alveolar lavage fluid and cells) from HIV negative close contacts (of sputum smear positive patients) that have laboratory evidence of LTBI (TST+, IGRA+ i.e.converters) versus those that do not (TST-, IGRA- i.e. nonconverters). To compare expression and function of innate markers of protective immunity (pathogen recognition molecules/ receptors, cytokines, humoral factors and cell phenotypes) in converters and nonconverters.

Host Organisation

Institution Country
University of Cape Town Lung Institute (Pty) Ltd South Africa

Study Design

Immunological studies

Results & Outcomes

Rapid diagnosis of TB meningitis by smear microscopy and PCR is problematic and the diagnostic delay can often translate into increased morbidity and mortality due to the poor sensitivity of these assays. The TB-specific quantitative T cell ELISPOT assay, when using CSF mononuclear cells and in conjunction with other rapid confirmatory tests (Gram stain and cryptococcal latex-agglutination) is an accurate and rapid rule-in test for TBM in a TB and HIV endemic setting. The RD-1, but not the purified-protein-derivative, cerebrospinal fluid-lymphocyte IFN-γ ELISPOT response is a useful rapid immunodiagnostic test for TBM. Further studies are continuing from the work described above.


Patel VB, Singh R, Connolly C, ,Coovadia Y, Peer A, Parag P, Kasprowicz V, Zumla A, Ndung’u T, Dheda K. Cerebrospinal T cell responses aid the diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis in a HIV and TB endemic population. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Aug 15;182(4):569-77. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200912- 1931OC. Epub 2010 May 4.
Patel VB, Bhigjee AI, Paruk HF, Singh R, Meldau R, Connolly C, Ndung’u T, Dheda K. Utility of a novel lipoarabinomannan assay for the diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis in a resource-poor high-HIV prevalence setting. Cerebrospinal Fluid Research. 2009 November,2;6:13. PMID: 19878608
Cashmore TJ , Peter GJ, van Zyl-Smit RN, Semple PL, Maredza A, Meldau R, Zumla A, Nurse B, Dheda K. Feasibility and diagnostic utility of antigen-specific interferon-gamma responses for rapid immunodiagnosis of tuberculosis using induced sputum. PLoS One. 2010 Apr 28;5(4):e10389. PMID: 20442850

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