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TBnet Newsletter June 2021

1.) Reminder: TBnet Webinar in June today.

During TBnet Webinar, Thursday 24th June@ 16:00 (CET) the panel of experts and the audience will discuss a case of tuberculosis - the history of the disease and its management. After the case discussion, there will be a lecture on MDR-TB.

2.) INNOVA4TB news

June 22, INNOVA4TB, a MSCA project on innovation in TB management had its yearly General Assembly and Scientific Symposium (online). INNOVA4TB joins TB researchers and clinicians from 5 European countries and Chile. Jose Dominguez, IGTP, TBnet SC is the coordinator of INNOVA4TB and all work package leaders are TBnet members. The project collaborates a lot with the TBnet.

During the Scientific Symposium, speakers covered a number of topics: how to turn the challenges in opportunities considering TB in the context of covid pandemics (Cristina Prat); discovery of polyclonal Mtb infections by sequencing of Mtb bacteria from lung surgery material (Inaki Comas); trans-continental cooperation in European-Latin America TB-related scientific project (Cecile Magis Escurra); new regimens for shorter TB treatment (Lorenzo Guglielmetti); research updates by INNOVA4TB participants and other great speeches.

See the details in INNOVA4TB website: and follow this interesting project on Twitter: @INNOVA4TB

1.) Perspectives for systems biology in the management of tuberculosis

Standardised management of tuberculosis may soon be replaced by individualised, precision medicine-guided therapies informed with knowledge provided by the field of systems biology. Systems biology is a rapidly expanding field of computational and mathematical analysis and modelling of complex biological systems that can provide insights into mechanisms underlying tuberculosis, identify novel biomarkers, and help to optimise prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. These advances are critically important in the context of the evolving epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

A team of experts with expertise in various fields of medicine and biology, including many active TBnet members, comprehensively reviewed the available evidence on the role of systems biology approaches – human and mycobacterial genomics and transcriptomics, proteomics, lipidomics/metabolomics, immunophenotyping, systems pharmacology and gut microbiomes – in the management of tuberculosis including prediction of risk for disease progression, severity of mycobacterial virulence and drug resistance, adverse events, comorbidities, response to therapy and treatment outcomes. Application of the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach demonstrated that at present most of the studies provide “very low” certainty of evidence for answering clinically relevant questions. Further studies in large prospective cohorts of patients, including randomised clinical trials, are necessary to assess the applicability of the findings in tuberculosis prevention and more efficient clinical management of patients.

Kontsevaya I, Lange C, Comella-Del-Barrio P, Coarfa C, DiNardo AR, Gillespie SH, Hauptmann M, Leschczyk C, Mandalakas AM, Martinecz A, Merker M, Niemann S, Reimann M, Rzhepishevska O, Schaible UE, Scheu KM, Schurr E, Abel Zur Wiesch P, Heyckendorf J. Perspectives for systems biology in the management of tuberculosis. Eur Respir Rev. 2021 May 25;30(160):200377. doi: 10.1183/16000617.0377-2020. PMID: 34039674.

Contributed by:

Irina Kontsevaya, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher at Research Center Borstel, Germany

Chair in Diagnostics at TBnet

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