Fend for TB

Project PeriodApril 2020 to March 2025
Co-Principal Investigators Jerrold Ellner  and Susan Dorman 
Prime InstituionRutgers

Public Health Importance: Tuberculosis (TB) now ranks as the leading infectious disease cause of mortality in the world. About 1.7 billion people are currently infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and are at risk of developing active TB disease. Increasing rates of multi-drug and extensively drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB and XDR-TB) pose a growing threat.  Early diagnosis of TB and universal drug-susceptibility testing (DST) are critical to identifying the most appropriate treatment for individual patients and to preventing the spread of disease.  Despite major advances in recent years, critical diagnostic needs are still unmet. There remains an urgent need for true point of care (POC) diagnostics, including rapid drug susceptibility testing (DST) in decentralized settings, pediatric targeted diagnostics that include non-sputum based diagnosis/technologies, and technologies to improve diagnosis of disseminated and paucibacillary TB.

Project Summary: The purpose of this project is to support proof-of principle studies to evaluate novel, early stage TB diagnostic tests, assays and strategies, and to provide feedback to diagnostic developers on the performance of the technology and potential strategies for use in endemic settings. For the purpose of this initiative, an “early stage” diagnostic refers to a diagnostic that has advanced to the stage where a prototype is ready and available to be evaluated but is not currently used in clinical care and treatment decisions for tuberculosis.