Additional merits from the two largest TBnet studies

In the past, TBnet was successful in evaluating performance characteristics of Interferon gamma release assays in the setting of contact tracing and in immunocompromised patients. Two large studies on 5020 contacts to cases with active tuberculosis [1], and on 1537 patients with immunodeficiencies [2] were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. These two studies were the inaugural studies developed and conducted by TBnet, and as such formed the basis of the network that TBnet is now.

TBnet was happy to collaborate with Rishi Gupta and this team at the University college London by contributing these datasets to a seminal study on developing a tool to better predict tuberculosis from IGRA test results and additional risk factors. This study, now published in Nature Medicine [3], developed an algorithm that was implemented in a web-based tool to be easily applied in clinical practice in low incidence countries. This Periskope tool allows for an individual prediction on the likelihood to develop tuberculosis, and how this can be decreased by preventive chemotherapy. The tool also provides a number needed to treat, which is helpful for clinical practice.

Experienced clinicians will be surprised how well the tool reflects expert knowledge. For less experienced clinicians, the tool will provide useful guidance in daily patient care.

Watch out and spread to tool at

1 Zellweger, J. P., Sotgiu, G., Block, M., Dore, S., Altet, N., Blunschi, R., Bogyi, al., Risk Assessment of Tuberculosis in Contacts by IFN-gamma Release Assays. A Tuberculosis Network European Trials Group Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2015. 191: 1176-1184.

2 Sester, M., van Leth, F., Bruchfeld, J., Bumbacea, D., Cirillo, D. M., Dilektasli, A. G., Dominguez, al.,Risk assessment of tuberculosis in immunocompromised patients. A TBNET study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2014. 190: 1168-1176.

3 Gupta, R. K., Calderwood, C. J., Yavlinsky, A., Krutikov, M., Quartagno, M., Aichelburg, M. C., Altet, al., Discovery and validation of a personalized risk predictor for incident tuberculosis in low transmission settings. Nat Med 2020. in press.