Most people infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) develop a latent form of the disease and remain asymptomatic; however, approximately 10% of these people are at risk of developing active, transmissible disease in their lifetime. An inability to accurately identify these at-risk patients with conventional tests has limited efforts to control TB. The purpose of this study was to identify novel biomarkers of active disease by using genomic techniques.

The investigators generated genome-wide transcriptional profiles from the blood of patients with active TB (before treatment), patients with latent TB, and healthy controls. This study was conducted at St Mary's Hospital in London, United Kingdom, and the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

Whole blood was obtained from healthy volunteers and patients with TB before starting antimicrobial therapy. A subset of patients diagnosed with active TB were also sampled 2 and 12 months after starting therapy. RNA was extracted from the...

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