Evaluation of multi-antigen serological screening for active tuberculosis among people living with HIV

Devan Jaganath, Jayant Rajan, Christina Yoon, Resmi Ravindran, Alfred Andama, Lucy Asege, Sandra Z. Mwebe, Jane Katende, Martha Nakaye, Fred C. Semitala, Imran H. Khan, Adithya Cattamanchi

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2 Scopus citations


Better triage tests for screening tuberculosis (TB) disease are needed for people living with HIV (PLHIV). We performed the first evaluation of a previously-validated 8-antigen serological panel to screen PLHIV for pulmonary TB in Kampala, Uganda. We selected a random 1:1 sample with and without TB (defined by sputum culture) from a cohort of PLHIV initiating antiretroviral therapy. We used a multiplex microbead immunoassay and an ensemble machine learning classifier to determine the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for Ag85A, Ag85B, Ag85C, Rv0934-P38, Rv3881, Rv3841-BfrB, Rv3873, and Rv2878c. We then assessed the performance with the addition of four TB-specific antigens ESAT-6, CFP-10, Rv1980-MPT64, and Rv2031-HSPX, and every antigen combination. Of 262 participants (median CD4 cell-count 152 cells/μL [IQR 65–279]), 138 (53%) had culture-confirmed TB. The 8-antigen panel had an AUC of 0.53 (95% CI 0.40–0.66), and the additional 4 antigens did not improve performance (AUC 0.51, 95% CI 0.39–0.64). When sensitivity was restricted to ≥90% for the 8- and 12-antigen panel, specificity was 2.2% (95% CI 0–17.7%) and 8.1% (95% CI 0–23.9%), respectively. A three-antigen combination (Rv0934-P38, Ag85A, and Rv2031-HSPX) outperformed both panels, with an AUC of 0.60 (95% CI 0.48–0.73), 90% sensitivity (95% CI 78.2–96.7%) and 29.7% specificity (95% CI 15.9–47%). The multi-antigen panels did not achieve the target accuracy for a TB triage test among PLHIV. We identified a new combination that improved performance for TB screening in an HIV-positive sample compared to an existing serological panel in Uganda, and suggests an approach to identify novel antigen combinations specifically for screening TB in PLHIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0234130
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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