Evaluation of multiple novel and emerging technologies for TB diagnosis, in smear-negative and HIV-infected persons, in high burden countries

TB-NEAT is a multi-million euro Tuberculosis diagnostics project in collaboration between 11 medical research organizations from 4 sub-Saharan African and 5 Euoprean countries. This project is funded by the EDCTP and has four distinct components: 

  1. A large-scale, prospective, blinded comparison of the diagnostic accuracy of novel and emerging platforms/assays as compared to current tests for the diagnosis of active TB, with a well-defined reference standard. This component focuses on outcomes and cost-effectiveness in HIV co-infected subjects, in those with smear-negative TB, and in children – groups that pose a diagnostic challenge in high-burden settings.
  2. The evaluation of the performance outcomes of tools for the simultaneous diagnosis of TB and detection of drug resistance, particularly in smear-negative TB, HIV co-infected individuals and children. The relevant tests will include the line probe assay (Genotype MTBDRplus,Hain) and the Xpert MTB/Rif (Cepheid) assay.
  3. Development of high quality site capacity in high-burden countries, and establishment of bio-banks where future testing of emerging technologies can be facilitated. This is interfaced with regional and international networking activities and training of African scientists.
  4. Early pre-test discovery work for TB (urine proteomics and validating serological markers) that will lay the foundation for new technologies, including point-of-care tests.

TB NEAT Collaborators

  • University of Cape Town (UCT) Lung Institute, South Africa
  • National Health Laboratory Services, South Africa
  • UNZA-UCLMS, Zambia
  • University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences/Biomedical Training and Research Institute, Zimbabwe
  • NIMR – Mbeya Medical Research Programme, Tanzania
  • Unit for Clinical and Biomedical TB Research, MRC, South Africa
  • Centre for Clinical Microbiology, University College London, United Kingdom
  • Radboud University, Nijmegen Medical Center, Netherlands
  • Department of Infectious Diseases, Klinikum of the University of Munich, Germany
  • Microbiology and Tumour Cell Biology Center (MTC) Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Foundation for Innovation Diagnostics (FIND), Switzerland