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The TURN-TB study (Trace Ultra Result iNsight in TB screening) seeks to understand "trace-positive" results on the Xpert® MTB/RIF Ultra (“Ultra”) assay, a commonly used diagnostic test for TB. In particular, this study focuses on people who participated in community-wide screening for tuberculosis and had a trace-positive Ultra result in that context. Current evidence indicates that many such people do not have true active TB. But we do not know how high their risk for developing TB is, nor how best to identify those who should receive TB treatment. Understanding these results could help us to care properly for individuals with trace-positive sputum, use the Ultra assay effectively for finding and treating tuberculosis at early stages, and understand changes that occur in people who may be developing TB disease. 


The TURN-TB study will conduct community-based TB screening (partly in coordination with the STOMP-TB study) and enroll participants with trace-positive results for an extensive baseline clinical and laboratory evaluation. Those who are not diagnosed with TB at baseline will be closely followed for up to 2 years, to evaluate the incidence of TB, treat it promptly if it develops, and observe any changes that occur over time in symptoms, microbiological results, imaging findings, and host responses. We will also use individual- and population-level modeling and a public health ethics analysis to place what we learn from Ultra-trace-positive individuals into public health and policy context for more effective TB case-finding.

For more information, see our publications page


TURN-TB Team Members

Principal Investigators: Emily Kendall, Achilles Katamba

Co-Investigators: David Dowdy, Moses Joloba, Petros Karakousis, Maria Merritt

Coordinators: Mariam Nantale, Samantha Steinmetz

Lab Coordinator: Caleb Kamoga

Data Manager: Annet Nalutaaya

Research Assistants: David Isooba, James Mukiibi, Olga Nakasolya

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