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New Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Panel to Support Real-Time Surveillance and Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 25 Apr 2024
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Image: The QIAseq xHYB Mycobacterium tuberculosis Panel uses next-generation sequencing (Photo courtesy of 123RF)
Image: The QIAseq xHYB Mycobacterium tuberculosis Panel uses next-generation sequencing (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Tuberculosis (TB), the leading cause of death from an infectious disease globally, is a contagious bacterial infection that primarily spreads through the coughing of patients with active pulmonary TB. The World Health Organization estimated over 10 million new cases and 1.3 million deaths from active TB worldwide in 2022. Additionally, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a growing challenge in TB treatment, with drug-resistant strains occurring in about 4% of all TB cases. Now, a next-generation sequencing (NGS) panel enables culture-free whole genome sequencing directly from complex samples could significantly accelerate TB outbreak tracking and enhance the detection and management of AMR—both crucial for TB surveillance and control.

QIAGEN (Venlo, the Netherlands) has launched the QIAseq xHYB Mycobacterium tuberculosis Panel for research use, furthering its commitment to global TB management and control. This includes the company’s leading diagnostics test, QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus. The new panel facilitates culture-free whole genome sequencing (WGS) directly from clinical samples such as sputum or cerebrospinal fluid. This breakthrough reduces the time to obtain results and enables real-time epidemiology for TB outbreaks, meeting a critical need in TB surveillance and control. The QIAseq xHYB Mycobacterium tuberculosis Panel marks a significant advancement in conducting bacterial WGS from complex host samples, employing NGS. Designed to target the seven major TB lineages, it encompasses the full spectrum of bacterial diversity. By eliminating the need for the traditional 4-to-6-week bacterial culture, the panel speeds up the process of obtaining results

Additionally, the QIAseq xHYB Mycobacterium tuberculosis Panel is crucial for the detection and management of AMR. It covers all genes related to AMR, enabling the identification of resistant TB strains, including multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) caused by bacteria resistant to the most effective first-line TB drugs. This surveillance capability is vital for tracking the emergence and spread of drug resistance, providing essential data to update treatment protocols and stimulating research and development for new TB treatments and diagnostic tools, ultimately enhancing patient outcomes.

“The introduction of the QIAseq xHYB Mycobacterium tuberculosis Panel reflects our ongoing commitment to address global health challenges like TB and antimicrobial resistance,” said Nitin Sood, Vice President, Head of the Life Sciences Business Area at QIAGEN. “This innovative panel not only streamlines the workflow for healthcare professionals and researchers but also enables the real-time tracking of TB outbreaks, a crucial aspect in combating the spread of this devastating disease and managing the growing threat of drug-resistant TB.”

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