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  1. Faridath Massou1,
  2. Dissou Affolabi1,
  3. Corinne Merle2,
  4. Gemeda Abebe3,
  5. Oumou Bah Sow4,
  6. Bassirou Diarra5,
  7. Osman El Tayeb6,
  8. Ayou Gaye Diallo7,
  9. Michel Kaswa8,
  10. Jean Claude Ngabonziza Semuto9,
  11. Melissa Sander10,
  12. Philip Supply11,
  13. Bouke De Jong12
  1. 1Supranational Reference Laboratory of Mycobacteria, Cotonou, Benin
  2. 2Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization (WHO/TDR), Geneva, Switzerland
  3. 3Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia
  4. 4Service de Pneumophtisiologie, Guinea, Conakry
  5. 5Université des Sciences, des Techniques et des Technologies de Bamako, SEREFO, Mali, Bamako
  6. 6Damian Foundation, Ibadan, Nigeria
  7. 7Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal, Dakar
  8. 8Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB), Kinshasa, DRC
  9. 9Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC), Kigali, Rwanda
  10. 10The Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory Bamenda, Cameroon
  11. 11Genoscreen, France, Lille
  12. 12Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), Belgium, Antwerp


Background Recent advances in molecular diagnostics, especially the Xpert MTB/Rif test, have reduced the time to diagnose rifampicin resistant tuberculosis (RR-TB). However, with this test only rifampicin resistance is diagnosed, leading to presumptive diagnosis of resistance to isoniazid and maybe other drugs. In addition, culture on monthly sputum samples is currently recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for follow-up of RR-TB patients under treatment. Unfortunately, culture is often not locally available, and samples need to be shipped from field to culture laboratories. The associated transport delays lead to high rates of contamination and false-negative culture, particularly in laboratories in low-resource settings. Many gaps for the diagnosis and management of RR-TB patients still need to be addressed and the DIAMA project (Diagnostics for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Africa) aims to address some of them.

Methods The TB Supranational Reference Laboratory of Benin leads a consortium of 11 partners involved in multiple-drug resistant TB care in Africa. The DIAMA project will explore the feasibility and accuracy of: i) diagnosing TB resistance to first and second line drugs through novel molecular multiplex assays developed by the company Genoscreen; ii) setting-up alternative culture-free approaches for the monitoring of patients’ response to rifamipcin-resistant treatment; iii) piloting whether the implementation of software by Data2Care Technologies for real-time monitoring of molecular test results can reduce delays between diagnosis and treatment of RR-TB patients. This project is funded by EDCTP for a period of five years.

Conclusion Together, these advances could dramatically improve the currently dismal prognosis of multiple-drug resistant TB in health systems in resource-poor settings. Through this presentation, we will share the background information, the design of this project and its progress.

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