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Upgrade Diagno MDR-TB

Tuberculosis (INCO)

Improved Diagnosis, Drug Resistance Detection and Control of Tuberculosis in Latin America
Framework programme:
Project number:
EC contribution:
€ 1 600 000
36 months
Starting date:
1 January 2002


A strategic obstacle to the improvement of tuberculosis (TB) control is the lack of inexpensive and simple techniques that can replace the slow and laborious conventional methods for diagnosing TB and detecting drug resistance. However, there are newer, more appropriate methodologies that warrant further evaluation. This concerted action (CA) will develop, adapt and evaluate some of these promising new tools. It will build upon collaborations that have developed between a network of European researchers and their Latin America colleagues. Preliminary studies by this group have begun to address some of the objectives in this CA, and the work outlined will expand these collaborations to develop useful and appropriate methodologies. This project will test them in multicentre pilot studies, modify them where necessary and run prospective clinical trials in high endemic TB areas for accuracy, cost, ease of implementation and impact on TB control.


The objectives are:

1) to develop, standardise and evaluate new methods for tuberculosis diagnosis, including improvements in microscopy, rapid culture techniques, serological markers, rapid speciation, and diagnosis of animal mycobacteroses of human importance
2) to develop, standardise and evaluate new methods for the detection of rifampicin resistance as a surrogate marker for MDR-TB
3) to design simple, rapid and inexpensive methods for drug susceptibility testing of M. tuberculosis. Sensitivity, specificity and predictive values will be determined by comparison with the conventional proportion method
4) to extend initial molecular and traditional epidemiological studies on Latin American MDR-TB strains in order to delineate transmission patterns.

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