Evaluating Treatment Efficacy of Tuberculosis Patients

Tuberculosis biomarkers identified

At a Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a method to evaluate the treatment efficacy in a patient undergoing treatment for tuberculosis (TB). This technology may lead to the development of low cost and less sophisticated yet sensitive test for diagnosis and assessment of treatment efficacy.


According to a World Health Organization report, the global market for TB diagnostics is more than twice that of the market for drugs to treat the disease. Worldwide, about $1 billion is spent on TB tests and evaluation, which screen some 100 million people annually compared to around $300 million is spend on drugs for the treatment. Several high-tech TB diagnostic tests are commercially available. However, these expensive and sophisticated tests are largely confined in industrialized countries where less than 5% of global TB cases are found. In middle- and low-income countries where most of TB cases are found still rely on tests using technologies developed 50-100 years ago which may not accurately identify active TB, particularly in HIV-positive patients. New diagnostic tests for TB suitable for low-income setting are urgently needed.


Clinical trials to evaluate new drugs and regimens for treatment of TB are lengthy endeavors due to the slow rate of disease clearance and the slow growth rate of the infecting bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.  Biochemical markers of either host or bacterial origin from urine samples that can serve as surrogate markers of effective anti-tuberculosis therapy were identified.  Urine specimens from TB patients collected before and after drug treatment were subjected to liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and the relative abundance of metabolites present in the pre-and post-chemotherapy samples were compared. These new biomarkers can be used to predict treatment outcome and the large number of differentiating molecular features identified may allow for the selection of a novel array of biomarkers for primary diagnosis of tuberculosis.


  • Low tech and inexpensive TB diagnosis
  • Can evaluate TB treatment efficacy
  • Sensitive test


  • TB diagnostics
  • TB treatment evaluation
Last Updated: January 2024

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