Do you want to know whether the medicine is working for the TB patient?

Project specs




Professor Wilber Sabiiti



Funding agency

UKRI Global Research Translation Award




Scientists at the University of St Andrews have developed an innovative test to measure tuberculosis bacteria and how they change in response to medication in 4h. The test compromises three steps: 1) isolation of Mycobaterium tuberculosis RNA from the patient sample, 2) Reverse transcriptase quantitatve polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and 3) translation of the RT-qPCR output to bacterial load measured as colony forming units per mL.

Researcher Profile

The St Andrews Infection research group is the leading respiratory disease reaserch group in Scotland. Led by Prof Stephen Gillespie, Dr Derek Sloan and Dr Wilber Sabiiti, the group has over 10 years track record developing molecular diagnostics for tuberculosis.
Dr Sabiiti leads the translational focus of the group and has build a network of tuberculosis Molecular Bacterial Load Assay (TB-MBLA) users in over 16 countries. TB-MBLA test is the first of its kind in the world of tuberculosis diagnosis with ability to detect and quantify patient tuberculosis burden in 4h. Most importantly the test can reveal if the anti-tuberculosis medicine is working for the patient in 3 days following initiation of treatment. We want this test to be applied globally and we believe this animation will enable researchers and healthcare practitioners implement this test independently.

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