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Molecular Approach to Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterial Assessment

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    A Molecular Approach to the Diagnosis, Assessment, Monitoring and Treatment of Pulmonary Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterial Disease.



  • Contact name

    Michael Loebinger

  • Sponsor organisation

    Imperial College London

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    2 years, 6 months, 0 days

  • Research summary

    Non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are microbes that are increasingly leading to significant lung disease. Treatment consists of multiple and prolonged(>1year) antibiotics. Resistance is common. Success rates are <50%. Efforts to tackle these infections are limited by a lack of tools to determine diagnosis, disease activity, and prognosis. As NTM are ubiquitous in the environment, isolating them from human samples (sputum) does not necessarily mean that treatment is needed. The issues are compounded by the need for 6-8weeks of growing NTM to check for their presence. This is clearly unsatisfactory for a condition where the monitoring of disease is crucial to management.\nThis proposal aims to address this with development of molecular (DNA) tests (rather than the need to grow the organisms in culture) to rapidly identify and quantify the DNA of the most important NTM and use this to monitor patients’ clinical course over 18 months. This project will assess whether these techniques may be useful in the future for clinical decision making in NTM. It is also expected to demonstrate a much larger number of NTM species using molecular identification than commonly reported with standard culture.

  • REC name

    North West - Liverpool Central Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    8 Dec 2016

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion