Despite the advent of new diagnostics, drugs and regimens, tuberculosis (TB) remains a global public health threat. A significant challenge for TB control efforts has been the monitoring of TB therapy and determination of TB treatment success. Current recommendations for TB treatment monitoring rely on sputum and culture conversion, which have low sensitivity and long turnaround times, present biohazard risk, and are prone to contamination, undermining their usefulness as clinical treatment monitoring tools and for drug development. We review the pipeline of molecular technologies and assays that serve as suitable substitutes for current culture-based readouts for treatment response and outcome with the potential to change TB therapy monitoring and accelerate drug development.
Keywords: biomarkers; outcome; treatment monitoring; tuberculosis.