Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics
BMRI CLINICAL UNIT
The Biomedical Research Institute Clinical Unit was established in 2016 within the Division of Molecular Biology & Human Genetics and comprises a multi-disciplinary team of academic doctors, nurses, assistants, quality assurance and coordinating personnel. The team perform the clinical research aimed at the discovery and testing of improved TB diagnostic candidates, as well as improved treatment regimens. We work closely with several research laboratories within the division, such as the Immunology Research Group. The medical staff are all approved for clinical trials research by the South African as well as the SU Health Research Ethics Committee. All staff in the team are GCP certified.
In 2021, we published articles on several studies that was concluded in recent years. A trial investigated the accuracy of the Correlates of Risk (Risk11) transcriptomic signature to predict progression of TB from latent to active. The results of this trial were recently published in Lancet Infectious Diseases. Results from the Cortis Dynamics substudy, was accepted in AJRCCM, while results from the parallel study: Cortis High Risk was published in Lancet: Global Health. Together, the reports confirm that a biomarker signature was successfully validated in both HIV infected an uninfected, in spite of dynamic changes over time in individuals.
Ongoing studies include the PredictTB trial, which is currently testing improved tools for treatment response measurement, the TriageTB study evaluating new TB diagnostic candidates for symptomatic patients at both point of care and laboratory across 4 international sites, and EnDx TB, which evaluates the diagnostic candidates in asymptomatic patients with high-risk TB exposure. These studies will also evaluate the influence of COVID-19 on the diagnosis of TB. This group performed additional screening and counselling for TB, COVID-19 and HIV in the community and assisted healthcare providers in delivery of quality healthcare to communities.
Future plansThe future vision for this unit is that it should include the clinical staff of all research groups within the Division. Currently the clinical staff of different research groups is located in various spaces on Tygerberg campus.