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Our alumnus Simon Mendelsohn (cohort 2015-2016) co-authored the publication of the results from a study into a blood-based RNA biomarker which tested diagnostic and prognostic performance for TB and the efficacy of TB preventive therapy for biomarker-positive individuals

Figure 3- (D) - detection of combined prevalent and incident tuberculosis and diagnostic performance
(A) Prevalence of tuberculosis in RISK11-positive (47 cases,) and RISK11-negative (14 cases, red bar) participants at trial enrolment. Error bars depict 95% CI. Cumulative incidence probability of tuberculosis in RISK11-positive (14 cases, blue line) or RISK11-negative (10 cases, red line) mITT participants during follow-up. Shaded areas represent 95% CI. (B) Ratio of RISK11-positive versus RISK11 negative cumulative incidence probability of observing prevalent or incident tuberculosis disease, in the ITT population of the observation group. (C) RISK11 signature scores (each dot represents a participant) measured at screening in trial participants, stratified on tuberculosis diagnosis. Boxes depict IQR, midline represents the median, and whiskers indicate range among enrolled participants. (D) RISK11 signature scores measured at screening in prevalent tuberculosis cases with or without any tuberculosis symptoms, in incident tuberculosis cases or those who did not have a tuberculosis diagnosis. The enrolled population, not the screened population, is represented in (C) and (D), because a large fraction of RISK11-negative participants were not enrolled by design. (E) ROC curves depicting RISK11 diagnostic performance for prevalent tuberculosis in the ITT population, for prevalent tuberculosis among individuals with no symptoms of tuberculosis (asymptomatic) and among individuals with at least one symptom consistent with tuberculosis disease (symptomatic). Shaded areas represent the 95% CI. The grey and black dots indicate the minimum and optimal criteria, respectively, set out in the WHO target product profile for a triage test. The empty dot indicates the criteria set out in the WHO target product profile for a confirmatory diagnostic test. TRP=true positive rate. ITT=intention to treat. FPR=false positive rate. AUC=area under the receiver operating characteristic curve.

A blood biomarker of tuberculosis discriminated between people at high risk for tuberculosis and those who remained healthy, but an effective preventive therapy for people at risk remains elusive.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal reports the findings of a study of a host blood signature of TB that differentiated between people who had or would develop active TB and those who remained healthy, and investigated in parallel the effect of giving TB preventive therapy based on a positive signature result.


Read the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative media release. 

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