The ERASE – TB study is being conducted in order to fill a critical unmet need for tuberculosis (TB) control.
Persons who are in contact with an infectious TB case may become infected. Among those who are infected, most will stay healthy, but some will develop TB. These people would benefit from preventive treatment, which would also stop TB from being spread to other persons.
Currently, it is impossible to determine with certainty who would require preventive treatment, and who would remain healthy
Available tests are unable to identify those with a risk for TB disease, and treating 100 persons to prevent 2 cases of TB is not sustainable.
The ERASE – TB study will evaluate a number of newly developed diagnostic tests, to see which of
those will be able to predict TB in persons at risk, and therefore steer preventive treatment well. (Preventive treatment is not used in adults and adolescents in Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, where this study will be conducted).
The study will invite 2 100 household contacts of infectious TB patients, who are at least 10 years
old. Everyone will be examined initially, and again at regular intervals. At every visit, we will perform an X-ray and take some blood and urine samples to perform new candidate tests. If someone is unwell, we will also examine sputum for the presence of TB bacilli. In the end, we will then be able to say who of the persons in the study developed TB, and who remained healthy. From all samples taken at different time points, we will then determine which test found TB early, and clearly distinguished between persons developing TB, and persons who would remain healthy.