“Ukatamanga weka utamangisa, tikatamanga awili, tifikapatali" - When you run alone, you run fast. When you run together, you run further - Zambian Proverb

Research and Training Programme

TB NEAT - 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.