Low-cost, non-commercial drug susceptibility testing of MTB

This study is a large international alliance spanning five continents and is funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust/MRC Newton Fund. Over 100,000 TB germs will be collected, many of which will be MDR-TB, from across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas by teams at more than a dozen centres. Each site will conduct drug-resistance testing on the samples in parallel with whole genome sequencing and the Oxford team will  assemble these results into a single open-access database. These data will be compared to a library of other TB bacteria with known drug-resistance to identify genes associated with resistance to certain treatments. Such large numbers are required to find nearly all the changes in the germs’ genetic code that could cause drug-resistance, including very rare ones and we will develop new computer methods to analyse this large amount of genetic data to accurately predict drug-resistance in new TB infections.  This will allow future TB cases to be treated with the best drugs faster, increasing the chance of curing individual patients’ infections and will help control its spread, thus contributing to worldwide TB elimination.

LSHTM staff: David Moore, Jackie Cliff, Claire Broderick, Kate Gaskell
Funding:  CRyPTIC Consortium