Advanced TB Diagnostics


This advanced course will cover advanced topics in TB diagnostics research and implementation, including incremental value of  new tests, impact of new tests on  clinical decision-making and therapeutic choices, cost-effectiveness in routine programmatic settings, and impact on patient-important outcomes. The course will  introduce multivariable approaches to diagnostic research, and cover alternative designs which evaluate patient outcomes, including the diagnostic RCT, and  implementation research. The course will also cover meta-analysis, mathematical modeling, and cost-effectiveness studies. Panel discussions will cover topics such  as value chain for TB diagnostics development, market analyses, market dynamics, target product profiles, and barriers to scale-up of new diagnostics. Participants  will include product manufacturers, donors, product development partnerships, policy makers, academics, clinicians, community advocates, public health  implementers and National TB Program managers.


2017 Advanced TB Diagnostics Agenda


Course Director

Madhukar Pai, MD, PhD
Professor of Epidemiology, McGill University
Director, McGill Global Health Programs
Associate Director, McGill International TB Centre


Course Faculty

Niaz Banaei, MD – Stanford University
Shiobhan Botwright – Stop TB Partnership
Claudia Denkinger, MD, PhD – FIND
David Dowdy, MD, PhD – Johns Hopkins University
Paul K. Drain, MD, MPH, FACP – University of Washington
Nora Engel, PhD – Maastricht University
Jennifer Furin, MD, PhD – Harvard Medical School
Nita Jha, MD – World Health Partners
Beate Kampmann, MD, PhD, FRCPCH – MRC Unit The Gambia
Achilles Katamba, PhD – Makerere University College of Health Sciences
Faiz Khan, MDCM MPH – McGill University
Robyn Lee, PhD – University of Melbourne
Ruvandhi Nathavitharana, MBBS – BIMDC Harvard Medical School
Max Salfinger, MD, FAAM, FIDSA – National Jewish Health
Sanjay Sarin, PhD – FIND India
Marco Schito, PhD – The Critical Path Institute
Samuel Schumacher, MSc, PhD – FIND
Karen Steingart, MD, MPH – Cochrane ID Group
Anita Suresh, MBA, MS – The Research Institute of the MUHC
Marc Tebruegge, MD, MSc, PhD – University of Southampton



High quality diagnostic studies are critical to evaluate new tools, and to develop evidence-based policies on TB diagnostics. There is evidence that TB diagnostic  trials are poorly conducted and poorly reported. Furthermore, there is evidence that a majority of TB diagnostic studies are focused on test accuracy. There are  limited data on outcomes such as accuracy of diagnostic algorithms (rather than single tests) and their relative contributions to the health care system, incremental  value of new tests, impact of new tests on clinical decision-making and therapeutic choices, cost-effectiveness in routine programmatic settings, and impact on patient-important outcomes. This poses problems because research on test accuracy, while necessary, is not sufficient for policy and guideline development.  Translation of policy into impact requires collecting evidence for scale-up, country-level data on cost-effectiveness and feasibility, implementation research, and  local decisions on scale-up, delivery and impact assessment.



By the end of the course, participants will understand:

  • value chain for TB diagnostics development, current pipeline of diagnostics, market dynamics, WHO policies on new diagnostics, and challenges for scale-up
  • diagnostic research focused on accuracy of tests
  • principles and practice of multivariable approaches to diagnostic research, an d adjustment for imperfect reference standards
  • meta-analyses of diagnostic accuracy studies and GRADE approach to diagnostic policies
  • alternative designs to evaluate impact of new tests on clinical decision-making, therapeutic choices, and patient-important outcomes
  • principles of implementation research, collecting evidence for scale-up, cost-effectiveness analyses and modeling studies in TB diagnostics



Target Audience

  • National TB Program managers and National Reference Lab managers
  • Clinicians and nurses
  • Researchers, students, trainees, fellows and academics involved in TB diagnostics research
  • Product manufacturers
  • Funding agencies
  • Product development partnerships
  • Policy makers and public health implementers
  • Community advocates and civil society


Maximum of 100 participants. Only participants with prior TB diagnostic research experience or advanced training will be eligible.