Of Early Detection & Risk

Themed TidBits: May / June 2021

Welcome to a themed version of tidbits covering what we liked in the last weeks about TB early detection & risk management. Enjoy!

Pulmonary Tuberculosis Identified as Possible Risk Factor for COPD

Patients with a history of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) were found to have an increased risk and higher prevalence of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than patients without TB, according to a recent meta-analysis published in Annals of Translational Medicine. “With aging of the world’s population, it is vital to improve our understanding of the mechanisms linking pulmonary TB to COPD and airflow obstruction, and to develop effective strategies to deal with this problem,” the authors concluded.

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Test detects childhood tuberculosis a year ahead

Researchers have developed a highly sensitive blood test that can find traces of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB) in infants a year before they develop the deadly disease, according to a new study. "This is a breakthrough for infants with tuberculosis because we don't have this kind of screening technology to catch early infections among those youngest groups who are most likely to be undiagnosed," Hu said.

New study shows a blood test can help track HIV positive people vulnerable to TB

A rapid blood test targeted at finding TB could shorten the time to TB treatment and reduce mortality in high-risk HIV-positive people, a new study has found. This study is the first to prospectively use a real-time rapid host blood test to diagnose prevalent TB and predict the progression of the disease in people living with HIV. The study results demonstrated that a blood test can find people living with HIV who are at high risk of TB. The blood mRNA virus indicator differentiated between people living with HIV who had active TB from those without TB. The test predicted which people would develop TB within 15 months.

Tuberculosis Study Leads to Potential Immune Markers for Active Disease

Investigators in the UK, Peru, and Italy have identified immune-related expression patterns that appear to distinguish active tuberculosis from latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections or TB cases that have been resolved. "The availability of therapies that block IL-17A/F cytokine pathways, or upstream signals such as the IL-1-apha/beta and IL-6 axes, offers invaluable opportunities to transition from proof-of-concept pre-clinical studies to first-in-human experiments," the authors concluded. "These studies are needed to establish the functional interaction between these cytokines and their causal role in the pathogenesis of human TB as a prelude to clinical trials for therapeutic benefit."

Low-Dose Amikacin as Alternative Treatment for Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis

Low-dose amikacin with appropriate dose adjustment based on adequate monitoring demonstrated limited toxicity with positive outcomes as a treatment option for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), according to the findings of a retrospective cohort study published in BMC Infectious Diseases.

Study discovers harmful inflammatory protein in patients with symptomatic tuberculosis

A pioneering study by UCL scientists has discovered the presence of a harmful inflammatory protein in patients with symptomatic tuberculosis (TB). Researchers say, by targeting the IL-17 cytokine, a component produced naturally by the immune system in response to infection, excessive and damaging lung inflammation caused by TB may be significantly reduced to help speed up patient recovery.