Project Lead(s): Olanisun Adewole
Of the 8 million new tuberculosis cases diagnosed annually, more than 75% are in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Conventional methods of diagnosing TB take a long time, increasing the risk of disease progression and further spread.
The project aimed to evaluate the usefulness of sweat for the early and accurate diagnosis of TB.
Sweating is a common symptom in TB and, to date, sweat has not been explored for its diagnostic potential.
In this project, sweat was analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometer for metabolites and proteins.
Compositions were compared between the different groups to determine which substances were discriminatory of TB, which could be used to develop an affordable sweat-based TB test.
Results of the project were inconclusive.
One hundred and seventy participants, including 70 TB patients, were recruited.
The study showed that sweat is a relatively easy bio-fluid to collect, but none of the sweat samples contained the Mycobacterium tuberculosis organism.
The study did identify metabolites differentially elevated in TB patients’ sweat, including Inositol like- 01, C1112, phenylalanine, C852, C261 and C347.
More research is needed to explore these findings.