Validation of rapid molecular testing for COVID-19 and integration with tuberculosis diagnostics
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a high burden of disease in Peru and other Latin American countries and affecting the capacity of health services to provide appropriate care to neglected diseases that persist outside the global spotlight. In the Americas, Peru is second only to Brazil in total cases of tuberculosis (TB). Considering that the symptoms of COVID-19 and TB are similar, integrating COVID-19 and TB testing would be an opportunity to improve the quality of patient care.
This study will take advantage of existing infrastructure for TB diagnosis in Peru — which provides cheap, user-friendly, and rapid, automated molecular TB testing — to validate its use for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in adults with suspected COVID-19 infection in Lima. It will assess the integration of the two diagnoses using a single respiratory sample at a secondary hospital in an area of high prevalence of TB outside of Lima. Strengthening COVID-19 diagnostic capacity and integrating COVID-19 with TB testing will save resources, improve quality of disease care, and minimize transmission time in the community.
This project was selected for funding through the COVID-19 May 2020 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity, coordinated by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in partnership with IDRC and several other health research funding agencies across Canada.