In-depth: Use of urine test for TB increasing

In 2015, the World Health Organization recommended a urine test that helps with the detection of tuberculosis (TB) in people living with HIV who are hospitalised or who have compromised immune systems. While uptake of this test in South Africa was initially quite slow, numbers presented at the recent South African TB Conference suggest that the use of the test is now increasing. Tiyese Jeranji reports.

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From Cameroonian village to Stellenbosch Professor – top TB researcher reflects on a remarkable journey

When Novel Chegou first arrived in Stellenbosch from Cameroon in 2004 he sold African crafts at a stall next to the town’s village green to save money for his studies. Today, Professor Chegou is one of South Africa’s leading tuberculosis researchers. Biénne Huisman caught up with Chegou shortly after the announcement that he had been awarded the Royal Society Africa Prize.

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Experts weigh in on the potential of ultrasound for diagnosing TB in kids

Tuberculosis can be challenging to diagnose in children, especially very young children. This is because it is difficult for them to cough up the sputum required by gold standard molecular tests and because they have fewer TB organisms in their sputum than adults. X-ray screening may be part of the solution, but it has shortcomings. Following some interesting recent study findings, Tiyese Jeranji asks what role lung ultrasound may have in improving TB detection in kids.

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Are oral swabs the future of TB testing?

The World Health Organization estimates that every year 40% of people who fall ill with TB globally are not diagnosed. There is thus an urgent need for faster, safe, and more convenient TB tests. The current gold standard for testing still requires people to cough up sputum, something that some people and children, in particular, struggle with. Tiyese Jeranji looks at the potential of a new experimental oral swab TB test.

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Profile: Keertan Dheda – reflections on a career finding ways to fight TB

Professor Keertan Dheda has come a long way from growing up as one of three siblings in a one-bedroom apartment in a high-rise in central Durban. Biénne Huisman chatted to Dheda, now the head of the University of Cape Town’s Division of Pulmonology, and a Professor in Mycobacteriology and Global Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, about work-life balance, problem-solving that excites him, and a career dedicated to the fight against tuberculosis.

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