Jan Willem Alffenaar of the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands will develop two simple tests that measure the concentration of anti-tuberculosis drugs in treated patients in low-resource settings in order to optimize dosage and limit the emergence of deadly multi-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDR-TB). The increased incidence of MDR-TB is due in part to low levels of anti-tuberculosis drugs, thus dosage optimization during treatment is important. However, doing this in low-resource settings is currently challenging. They will develop a method for use in Tanzania to measure the concentration of the anti-TB drug fluoroquinolone in saliva using a battery-operated UV spectrophotometer. They will also modify a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) platform for detecting drug concentrations in dried blood spots, which are collected on filter paper and do not require refrigeration to remain stable. The on-site saliva test will allow detection of patients with too low levels of drug at risk for treatment failure, who can then have their dose optimized following the more detailed dried blood spot analysis at a centralized laboratory.
More information about Innovations for Integrated Diagnostics Systems (Round 20)