Multi-country evaluation of RISK6, a 6-gene blood transcriptomic signature, for tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment monitoring

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There is a crucial need for non-sputum-based TB tests. Here, we evaluate the performance of RISK6, a human-blood transcriptomic signature, for TB screening, triage and treatment monitoring. RISK6 performance was also compared to that of two IGRAs: one based on RD1 antigens (QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus, QFT-P, Qiagen) and one on recombinant M. tuberculosis HBHA expressed in Mycobacterium smegmatis (IGRA-rmsHBHA). In this multicenter prospective nested case–control study conducted in Bangladesh, Georgia, Lebanon and Madagascar, adult non-immunocompromised patients with bacteriologically confirmed active pulmonary TB (ATB), latent TB infection (LTBI) and healthy donors (HD) were enrolled. ATB patients were followed-up during and after treatment. Blood RISK6 scores were assessed using quantitative real-time PCR and evaluated by area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (ROC AUC). RISK6 performance to discriminate ATB from HD reached an AUC of 0.94 (95% CI 0.89–0.99), with 90.9% sensitivity and 87.8% specificity, thus achieving the minimal WHO target product profile for a non-sputum-based TB screening test. Besides, RISK6 yielded an AUC of 0.93 (95% CI 0.85–1) with 90.9% sensitivity and 88.5% specificity for discriminating ATB from LTBI. Moreover, RISK6 showed higher performance (AUC 0.90, 95% CI 0.85–0.94) than IGRA-rmsHBHA (AUC 0.75, 95% CI 0.69–0.82) to differentiate TB infection stages. Finally, RISK6 signature scores significantly decreased after 2 months of TB treatment and continued to decrease gradually until the end of treatment reaching scores obtained in HD. We confirmed the performance of RISK6 signature as a triage TB test and its utility for treatment monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13646
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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