Dried blood spots: a new tool for tuberculosis treatment optimization

Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(27):2931-9. doi: 10.2174/138161211797470174.


Tuberculosis (TB) is a high-burden infectious disease, especially in low and middle-income countries. The efforts to eliminate this disease are challenged by the emergence of multidrug resistance and TB-HIV coinfection. The cumulative knowledge on pharmacokinetics/ pharmacodynamics of antituberculosis agents has recently encouraged therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) in patient care. However, logistical problems related to conventional sampling limit the application of TDM in research-oriented institutions. Dried blood spot (DBS) compared with conventional venous blood sampling has the advantages of easier sampling, storage and transportation, thus enabling the application of TDM even in remote areas. In addition, DBS with its lower biohazardous risk can be safely performed in a high HIV prevalence area, which also tends to have a high TB burden. Another benefit of DBS sampling is that it requires a smaller blood volume than conventional sampling and is highly recommended for application in pediatric TB. A limitation of DBS is that additional considerations are required for analysis method development and validation. The accuracy of the DBS method is influenced by a number of factors that need to be thoroughly examined in method development and validation. Further, the agreement between DBS and plasma/serum concentrations is not always understood and further investigations are required.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Specimen Collection / methods
  • Child
  • Dried Blood Spot Testing / methods*
  • Drug Monitoring / methods
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • Humans
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy*


  • Antitubercular Agents