Sensitivity optimisation of tuberculosis bioaerosol sampling.
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION:Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) in patient-derived bioaerosol is a potential tool to measure source case infectiousness. However, current bioaerosol sampling approaches have reported low detection yields in sputum-positive TB cases. To increase the utility of bioaerosol sampling, we present advances in bioaerosol collection and Mtb identification that improve detection yields. METHODS:A previously described Respiratory Aerosol Sampling Chamber (RASC) protocol, or "RASC-1", was modified to incorporate liquid collection of bioaerosol using a high-flow wet-walled cyclone (RASC-2). Individuals with GeneXpert-positive pulmonary TB were sampled pre-treatment over 60-minutes. Putative Mtb bacilli were detected in collected fluid by fluorescence microscopy utilising DMN-Trehalose. Exhaled air and bioaerosol volumes were estimated using continuous CO2 monitoring and airborne particle counting, respectively. Mtb capture was calculated per exhaled air volume sampled and bioaerosol volume for RASC-1 (n = 35) and for RASC-2 (n = 21). Empty chamber samples were collected between patients as controls. RESULTS:The optimised RASC-2 protocol sampled a median of 258.4L (IQR: 226.9-273.6) of exhaled air per patient compared with 27.5L (IQR: 23.6-30.3) for RASC-1 (p<0.0001). Bioaerosol volume collection was estimated at 2.3nL (IQR: 1.1-3.6) for RASC-2 compared with 0.08nL (IQR: 0.05-0.10) for RASC-1 (p<0.0001). The detection yield of viable Mtb improved from 43% (median 2 CFU, range: 1-14) to 95% (median 20.5 DMN-Trehalose positive bacilli, range: 2-155). These improvements represent a lowering of the limit of detection in the RASC-2 platform to 0.9 Mtb bacilli per 100L of exhaled air from 3.3 Mtb bacilli per 100L (RASC-1). CONCLUSION:This study demonstrates that technical improvements in particle collection together with sensitive detection enable rapid quantitation of viable Mtb in bioaerosols of sputum positive TB cases. Increased sampling sensitivity may allow future TB transmission studies to be extended to sputum-negative and subclinical individuals, and suggests the potential utility of bioaerosol measurement for rapid intervention in other airborne infectious diseases.
Project description:Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is predominantly an airborne disease. However, quantitative and qualitative analysis of bio-aerosols containing the aetiological agent, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), has proven very challenging. Our objective is to sample bio-aerosols from newly diagnosed TB patients for detection and enumeration of Mtb bacilli. Methods: We monitored each of 35 newly diagnosed, GeneXpert sputum-positive, TB patients during 1 hour confinement in a custom-built Respiratory Aerosol Sampling Chamber (RASC). The RASC (a small clean-room of 1.4m ) incorporates aerodynamic particle size detection, viable and non-viable sampling devices, real-time CO 2 monitoring, and cough sound-recording. Microbiological culture and droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) were used to detect Mtb in each of the bio-aerosol collection devices. Results: Mtb was detected in 27/35 (77.1%) of aerosol samples; 15/35 (42.8%) samples were positive by mycobacterial culture and 25/27 (92.96%) were positive by ddPCR. Culturability of collected bacilli was not predicted by radiographic evidence of pulmonary cavitation, sputum smear positivity, or cough rate. Mtb was detected on all viable cascade impactor stages with a peak at aerosol sizes 2.0-3.5?m. This suggests a median of 0.09 CFU/litre of exhaled air (IQR: 0.07 to 0.3 CFU/l) for the aerosol culture positives and an estimated median concentration of 4.5x10 CFU/ml (IQR: 2.9x10 -5.6x10 ) of exhaled particulate bio-aerosol. Conclusions: Mtb was identified in bio-aerosols exhaled by the majority of untreated TB patients using the RASC. Molecular detection was more sensitive than mycobacterial culture on solid media, suggesting that further studies are required to determine whether this reflects a significant proportion of differentially detectable bacilli in these samples.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Tuberculosis (TB) is transmitted in bioaerosols containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Despite being central to ongoing TB transmission, no routine diagnostic assay exists to measure Mtb in bioaerosols. Furthermore, published studies of Mtb in bioaerosol samples have been limited to individuals with sputum-positive pulmonary TB. Notably, TB diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms and sputum laboratory findings. This is despite the fact that approximately half of all patients commencing TB treatment are sputum-negative, resulting in a high proportion of presumptive treatments. Here, we propose to use a sensitive air sampling protocol to investigate the prevalence of Mtb-containing bioaerosols in both sputum-positive and sputum-negative TB suspects, at the same time evaluating the potential to identify unrecognized transmitters of TB. METHODS:Our parallel-group design will identify viable Mtb in bioaerosols produced by individuals attending a TB clinic in South Africa. Sampling will be performed on eligible individuals presenting with symptoms indicative of TB and repeated at 14?days if initially positive. Participants will be prospectively classified into three distinct groups based on National TB Control Program (NTBCP) criteria: Group A, TB notification with sputum-based laboratory confirmation; Group B, TB notification with empiric diagnosis; and Group C, individuals not notified. Group C individuals with detectable Mtb bioaerosol will be monitored until resolution of clinical and laboratory status. Collection of bioaerosol specimens will be via two consecutive sampling modalities: (1) direct sampling following a specific respiratory manoeuvre; and (2) indirect sampling during passive respiratory activity. Bioaerosol specimens will be analyzed for viable Mtb using DMN-trehalose staining and live-cell fluorescence microscopy. Mtb genomes and mycobacterial and host lipids will be detected using droplet digital PCR and mass spectrometry analyses, respectively. The primary objective is to determine the prevalence of Mtb bioaerosols in all TB clinic attendees and in each of the groups. Secondary objectives are to investigate differences in prevalence of Mtb bioaerosol by HIV status and current isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) use; we will also determine the impact of anti-TB chemotherapy on Mtb-containing bioaerosol production. DISCUSSION:Respiratory bioaerosol has a potential role in non-invasive TB diagnosis, infectivity measurement and treatment monitoring. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04241809 . Date of Registration: 27/1/2020.
Project description:Tuberculosis (TB) treatment monitoring is paramount to clinical decision-making and the host biomarkers appears to play a significant role. The currently available diagnostic technology for TB detection is inadequate. Although GeneXpert detects total DNA present in the sample regardless live or dead bacilli present in clinical samples, all the commercial tests available thus far have low sensitivity. Humoral responses against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) antigens are generally low, which precludes the use of serological tests for TB diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment monitoring. Mtb-specific CD4+ T cells correlate with Mtb antigen/bacilli burden and hence might serve as good biomarkers for monitoring treatment progress. Omics-based techniques are capable of providing a more holistic picture for disease mechanisms and are more accurate in predicting TB disease outcomes. The current review aims to discuss some of the recent advances on TB biomarkers, particularly host biomarkers that have the potential to diagnose and differentiate active TB and LTBI as well as their use in disease prognosis and treatment monitoring.
Project description:<h4>Rationale</h4>The clinical impact of Xpert MTB/RIF for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis in high HIV-prevalence settings is unknown.<h4>Objective</h4>To determine the diagnostic accuracy and impact of Xpert MTB/RIF among high-risk TB suspects.<h4>Methods</h4>WE PROSPECTIVELY ENROLLED CONSECUTIVE, HOSPITALIZED, UGANDAN TB SUSPECTS IN TWO PHASES: baseline phase in which Xpert MTB/RIF results were not reported to clinicians and an implementation phase in which results were reported. We determined the diagnostic accuracy of Xpert MTB/RIF in reference to culture (solid and liquid) and compared patient outcomes by study phase.<h4>Results</h4>477 patients were included (baseline phase 287, implementation phase 190). Xpert MTB/RIF had high sensitivity (187/237, 79%, 95% CI: 73-84%) and specificity (190/199, 96%, 95% CI: 92-98%) for culture-positive TB overall, but sensitivity was lower (34/81, 42%, 95% CI: 31-54%) among smear-negative TB cases. Xpert MTB/RIF reduced median days-to-TB detection for all TB cases (1 [IQR 0-26] vs. 0 [IQR 0-1], p<0.001), and for smear-negative TB (35 [IQR 22-55] vs. 22 [IQR 0-33], p=0.001). However, median days-to-TB treatment was similar for all TB cases (1 [IQR 0-5] vs. 0 [IQR 0-2], p=0.06) and for smear-negative TB (7 [IQR 3-53] vs. 6 [IQR 1-61], p=0.78). Two-month mortality was also similar between study phases among 252 TB cases (17% vs. 14%, difference +3%, 95% CI: -21% to +27%, p=0.80), and among 87 smear-negative TB cases (28% vs. 22%, difference +6%, 95% CI: -34 to +46%, p=0.77).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Xpert MTB/RIF facilitated more accurate and earlier TB diagnosis, leading to a higher proportion of TB suspects with a confirmed TB diagnosis prior to hospital discharge in a high HIV/low MDR TB prevalence setting. However, our study did not detect a decrease in two-month mortality following implementation of Xpert MTB/RIF possibly because of insufficient powering, differences in empiric TB treatment rates, and disease severity between study phases.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>According to the traditional tuberculosis (TB) treatment paradigm, the initial doses of treatment rapidly kill most Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) bacilli in sputum, yet many more months of daily treatment are required to eliminate a small, residual subpopulation of drug-tolerant bacilli. This paradigm has recently been challenged following the discovery that up to 90% of Mtb bacilli in sputum are culturable only with growth-factor supplementation. These "differentially culturable" bacilli are hypothesized to be more drug-tolerant than routinely culturable bacilli. This hypothesis implies an alternative paradigm in which TB treatment does not rapidly reduce the total Mtb population but only the small, routinely culturable subpopulation. To evaluate these competing paradigms, we developed a culture-independent method for quantifying the viable fraction of Mtb bacilli in sputum during treatment.<h4>Methods</h4>We used GeneXpert MTB/RIF to quantify Mtb DNA in sputa collected longitudinally from Ugandan adults taking standard 4-drug treatment for drug-susceptible pulmonary TB. We modeled GeneXpert cycle thresholds over time using nonlinear mixed-effects regression. We adjusted these models for clearance of DNA from killed-but-not-yet-degraded bacilli, assuming clearance half-lives ranging from 0 to 1.25 days. We used a convolution integral to quantify DNA from viable bacilli only, and converted cycle thresholds to Mtb genomic equivalents. We replicated our results in a South African cohort.<h4>Results</h4>We enrolled 41 TB patients in Uganda. Assuming a DNA-clearance half-life of 0 days, genomic equivalents of viable sputum bacilli decreased by 0.22 log/day until 8.8 days, then by 0.07 log/day afterwards. Assuming a DNA-clearance half-life of 1.25 days, genomic equivalents of viable bacilli decreased by 0.36 log/day until 5.0 days, then by 0.06 log/day afterwards. By day 7, viable Mtb had decreased by 97.2-98.8%. We found similar results for 19 TB patients in South Africa.<h4>Discussion</h4>Using a culture-independent method, we found that TB treatment rapidly eliminates most viable Mtb in sputum. These findings are incompatible with the hypothesis that differentially culturable bacilli are drug-tolerant.<h4>Conclusions</h4>A culture-independent method for measuring viable Mtb in sputum during treatment corroborates the traditional TB treatment paradigm in which a rapid bactericidal phase precedes slow, elimination of a small, residual bacillary subpopulation.
Project description:The diagnosis of active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) remains a challenge in clinic, especially for sputum negative pulmonary TB. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) has higher sensitivity than sputum for detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). However, bronchoscopy is invasive and costly, and not suitable for all patients. In order to make TB patients get more benefit from BALF for diagnosis, we explore which indicator might be used to optimize the choice of bronchoscopy.A total of 1539 sputum-smear-negative pulmonary TB suspects who underwent bronchoscopy were recruited for evaluation. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of Mtb detection in sputum and BALF were compared. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were used to assess variables that associated with positive acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear, Mtb culture and nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) of BALF in sputum-negative and non-sputum-producing pulmonary TB suspects.BALF has significantly higher sensitivity (63.4%) than sputum (43.5%) for Mtb detection by culture and NAAT. 19.7% (122/620) sputum-negative and 40.0% (163/408) non-sputum-producing suspects had positive bacteriological results in BALF. Among sputum-negative and non-sputum-producing pulmonary TB suspects, the positivity of Mtb detection in BALF is associated with a younger age, the presence of pulmonary cavities and a positive result of interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA). Sputum-negative patients under 35 years old with positive IGRA and pulmonary cavity had 84.8% positivity of Mtb in BALF.Our study indicated that combination of age, the presence of pulmonary cavity, and the result of IGRA is useful to predict the positivity of Mtb detection in BALF among sputum-negative and non-sputum producing pulmonary TB suspects. Those who are under 35 years old, positive for the presence of pulmonary cavity and IGRA, should undergo bronchoscopy to collect BAFL for Mtb tests, as they have the highest possibility to get bacteriologically confirmation of TB.
Project description:Xpert MTB/RIF ("Xpert") is a molecular test for detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in sputum. Performance characteristics have been established for its use during passive tuberculosis (TB) case detection in symptomatic TB suspects, but Xpert performance has not been assessed in other settings. Objectives were to determine Xpert performance and costs in the context of a TB prevalence survey.This was a diagnostic sub-study of a TB prevalence survey conducted in gold mining companies in South Africa. Sputa (one per participant) were tested using smear microscopy, liquid culture (reference comparator), and Xpert. Costs were collected using an ingredients approach and analyzed using a public health program perspective. 6893 participants provided a sputum specimen. 187/6893 (2.7%) were positive for MTB in culture, 144/6893 (2.1%) were positive for MTB by Xpert, and 91/6893 (1.3%) were positive for acid fast bacilli by microsocopy. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for detection of MTB by Xpert were 62.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] 55.2, 69.5), 99.6% (99.4, 99.7), 81.3% (73.9, 87.3), and 98.9 (98.6, 98.8); agreement between Xpert and culture was 98.5% (98.2, 98.8). Sensitivity of microscopy was 17.6% (12.5, 23.9). When individuals with a history of TB treatment were excluded from the analysis, Xpert specificity was 99.8 (99.7, 99.9) and PPV was 90.6 (83.3, 95.4) for detection of MTB. For the testing scenario of 7000 specimens with 2.7% of specimens culture positive for MTB, costs were $165,690 for Xpert and $115,360 for the package of microscopy plus culture.In the context of a TB prevalence survey, the Xpert diagnostic yield was substantially higher than that of microscopy yet lower than that of liquid culture. Xpert may be useful as a sole test for TB case detection in prevalence surveys, particularly in settings lacking capacity for liquid culture.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The diagnosis of active tuberculosis (TB) cases primarily relies on methods that detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) bacilli or their DNA in patient samples (e.g., mycobacterial culture and Xpert MTB/RIF assays), but these tests have low clinical sensitivity for patients with paucibacillary TB disease. Our goal was to evaluate the clinical performance of a newly developed assay that can rapidly diagnose active TB cases by direct detection of Mtb-derived antigens in patients' blood samples. METHODS:Nanoparticle (NanoDisk)-enriched peptides derived from the Mtb virulence factors CFP-10 (10-kDa culture factor protein) and ESAT-6 (6-kDa early secretory antigenic target) were analyzed by high-throughput mass spectrometry (MS). Serum from 294 prospectively enrolled Chinese adults were analyzed with this NanoDisk-MS method to evaluate the performance of direct serum Mtb antigen measurement as a means for rapid diagnosis of active TB cases. RESULTS:NanoDisk-MS diagnosed 174 (88.3%) of the study's TB cases, with 95.8% clinical specificity, and with 91.6% and 85.3% clinical sensitivity for culture-positive and culture-negative TB cases, respectively. NanoDisk-MS also exhibited 88% clinical sensitivity for pulmonary and 90% for extrapulmonary TB, exceeding the diagnostic performance of mycobacterial culture for these cases. CONCLUSIONS:Direct detection and quantification of serum Mtb antigens by NanoDisk-MS can rapidly and accurately diagnose active TB in adults, independent of disease site or culture status, and outperform Mycobacterium-based TB diagnostics.
Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) causes active tuberculosis (TB) in only a small percentage of infected people. In most cases, the infection is clinically latent, where bacilli can persist in human hosts for years without causing disease. Surprisingly, the biology of such persister cells is largely unknown. This study describes the isolation, identification, and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of latent TB bacilli after 782days (26months) of latency (the ability of MTB bacilli to lie persistent).The in vitro double-stress model of latency (oxygen and nutrition) was designed for MTB culture. After 26months of latency, MTB cells that persisted were isolated and investigated under light and atomic force microscopy. Spoligotyping and WGS were performed to verify the identity of the strain.We established a culture medium in which MTB bacilli arrest their growth, reduce their size (0.3-0.1?m), lose their acid fastness (85-90%) and change their shape. Spoligopatterns of latent cells were identical to original H37Rv, with differences observed at spacers two and 14. WGS revealed only a few genetic changes relative to the already published H37Rv reference genome. Among these was a large 2064-bp insertion (RvD6), which was originally detected in both H37Ra and CDC1551, but not H37Rv.Here, we show cell-wall free cells of MTB bacilli in their latent state, and the biological adaptation of these cells was more phenotypic in nature than genomic. These cell-wall free cells represent a good model for understanding the nature of TB latency.
Project description:Performance of the Xpert MTB/RIF assay, designed to simultaneously detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) and rifampin (RIF) resistance, has been well documented in low-resource settings with high TB-incidence. However, few studies have assessed its accuracy in low TB incidence settings. We evaluated the performance of Xpert MTB/RIF using clinical sputum specimens routinely collected from suspect pulmonary TB patients over a 4-year time period in San Diego County, California. Xpert MTB/RIF results were compared to acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear microscopy, mycobacterial culture, and phenotypic drug susceptibility testing (DST). Of 751 sputum specimens, 134 (17.8%) were MTBC culture-positive and 2 (1.5%) were multidrug-resistant (MDR). For the detection of MTBC, Xpert MTB/RIF sensitivity was 89.6% (97.7% and 74.5% in smear-positive and -negative sputa, respectively) and specificity was 97.2%; while AFB smear sensitivity and specificity were 64.9% and 77.8%, respectively. Xpert MTB/RIF detected 35 of 47 smear-negative culture-positive specimens, and excluded 124 of 137 smear-positive culture-negative specimens. Xpert MTB/RIF also correctly excluded 99.2% (121/122) of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) specimens, including all 33 NTM false-positives by smear microscopy. For the detection of RIF resistance, Xpert MTB/RIF sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 98.3%, respectively. Our findings demonstrate that Xpert MTB/RIF is able to accurately detect MTBC and RIF resistance in routinely collected respiratory specimens in a low TB-incidence setting, with comparable performance to that achieved in high-incidence settings; and suggest that under these conditions the assay has particular utility in detecting smear-negative TB cases, excluding smear-positive patients without MTBC disease, and differentiating MTBC from NTM.