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Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program                                                            
Phase 2 (2006 Deadline)

Multiplex Immunoassays for the Detection of Tuberculosis  
Paul A. Luciw, University of California, Davis
Azra Khanum, University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi (UAAR)
Pakistani Funding (HEC):  $173,945
US Funding:    $189,500
Project Dates on US Side: February 1, 2007 - January 31, 2009

Project Overview

The high prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) in Pakistan is a significant burden to the country’s healthcare system and its economy. Methods for accurate and cost-effective diagnosis of infection with pathogenic Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb.) are essential for controlling the spread of this disease in the population. It is critical to detect both the earliest stage of infection and latent infection and to monitor the efficacy of therapy, but current methods have various limitations in terms of sensitivity, accuracy, and time-to-result. Building on recent advances in knowledge of mycobacterial genomics, proteomics, and immunology and in novel multiplex diagnostic instrumentation for infectious disease, this project was intended to build healthcare capacity in Pakistan by developing new multiplex diagnostic methods for detecting TB.

Major Results

  • Developed a novel antibody profile-based TB diagnostic multiplex test for clinical applications
  • Used the data from the above study to obtain funding from the World Health Organization (Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office) to perform a validation study of the antibody TB diagnostic test in Pakistan
  • Provided one year of training at UC Davis to two Pakistani graduate students in genetic engineering, protein expression/purificatrion, and multiplex diagnostics
  • Submitted a manuscript for publication (co-authored by Pakistani and US scientists), with two additional manuscripts in preparation
  • Established collaborative infrastructure with TB clinics in Pakistan
  • Obtained funding from the US State Department to develop a nucleic acid-based diagnostic test for the detection of multiple drug resistant TB in Pakistan, based on the experience with the successful development of a multiplex serodiagnostic test for TB

Progress Report Summaries

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