Update on tuberculosis biomarkers: From correlates of risk, to correlates of active disease and of cure from disease

Delia Goletti, Meng Rui Lee, Jann Yuan Wang, Nicholas Walter, Tom H.M. Ottenhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Tuberculosis (TB) remains a devastating disease, yet despite its enormous toll on global health, tools to control TB are insufficient and often outdated. TB Biomarkers (TB-BM) would constitute extremely useful tools to measure infection status and predict outcome of infection, vaccination or therapy. There are several types of TB-BM: Correlate of Infection; Correlate of TB Disease; Correlate of Increased Risk of Developing Active TB Disease; Correlate of the Curative Response to Therapy; and Correlate of Protection (CoP). Most TB-BM currently studied are host-derived BM, and consist of transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, cellular markers or marker combinations ('signatures'). In particular, vaccine-inducible CoP are expected to be transformative in developing new TB vaccines as they will de-risk vaccine research and development (R&D) as well as human testing at an early stage. In addition, CoP could also help minimizing the need for preclinical studies in experimental animals. Of key importance is that TB-BM are tested and validated in different well-characterized human TB cohorts, preferably with complementary profiles and geographically diverse populations: genetic and environmental factors such as (viral) coinfections, exposure to non-tuberculous mycobacteria, nutritional status, metabolic status, age (infants vs children vs adolescents vs adults) and other factors impact host immune set points and host responses across different populations. In this study, we review the most recent advances in research into TB-BM for the diagnosis of active TB, risk of TB development and treatment-induced TB cure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-466
Number of pages12
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2018


  • Active disease
  • Biomarkers
  • Cure
  • Incipient tuberculosis
  • Latent infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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