Weiner, J. et al. Metabolite changes in blood predict the onset of tuberculosis. Nat Commun 9, 5208 (2018).
New biomarkers of tuberculosis (TB) risk and disease are critical for the urgently needed control of the ongoing TB pandemic. In a prospective multisite study across Subsaharan Africa, we analyzed metabolic profiles in serum and plasma from HIV-negative, TB-exposed individuals who either progressed to TB 3-24 months post-exposure (progressors) or remained healthy (controls). We generated a trans-African metabolic biosignature for TB, which identifies future progressors both on blinded test samples and in external data sets and shows a performance of 69% sensitivity at 75% specificity in samples within 5 months of diagnosis. These prognostic metabolic signatures are consistent with development of subclinical disease prior to manifestation of active TB. Metabolic changes associated with pre-symptomatic disease are observed as early as 12 months prior to TB diagnosis, thus enabling timely interventions to prevent disease progression and transmission.
Keywords: Adolescent, Adult, Africa South of the Sahara, Biomarkers, Disease Progression,Female, Humans, Male, Metabolome, Metabolomics, Prospective Studies, Sensitivity and Specificity, Tuberculosis, Young Adult