A New Resource for Evidence-based TB Diagnosis

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Guest blog by: Madhukar Pai, Editorial Board Member, PLoS Medicine & Section Editor for TB, PLoS ONE

There is palpable excitement in the tuberculosis (TB) scientific community over the introduction of new tools (diagnostics, drugs and vaccines) into TB control activities. However, introduction of new tools must be evidence-based. In 2008, PLoS Medicine published a paper, entitled “Evidence-based Tuberculosis Diagnosis“, which reviewed the evidence-base that was available at the time for TB diagnosis. As a follow-up to this paper, the Stop TB Partnership‘s New Diagnostics Working Group (NDWG) has put together a new website resource called Evidence-based Tuberculosis Diagnosis, available at: http://www.tbevidence.org. Several agencies, groups and individuals have contributed to the development of this comprehensive resource. This aim of the website is to provide the most comprehensive single source of evidence syntheses, policies, guidelines and research agendas on TB diagnosis. It provides access to systematic reviews on TB diagnostics, all the relevant policies, guidelines and research agendas on TB diagnosis, and several reports, monographs and training modules and slide presentations on TB diagnostics.

http://www.tbevidence.org

The website also provides detailed guidance on how to conduct and report diagnostic research on TB, guidance on how to perform systematic reviews of diagnostics, tools on development of guidelines, and documents on improvement of laboratory quality and practice. Up-to-date information on the current TB diagnostics pipeline is also provided, along with SOPs (standard operating procedures) for several tests, and specimen and data banks. The website has no registration, restrictions or fee requirements : so anyone can view and download the information. The website is not sponsored or supported by any industry or commercial organization.

This exciting new resource addresses a long-standing need for a single portal that compiles all critical evidence on TB diagnosis, along with relevant policies and guidelines for clinicians, health professionals and policy makers.

References:

Pai M, Ramsay A, O’Brien R (2008) Evidence-Based Tuberculosis Diagnosis. PLoS Med 5(7): e156. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050156.

Competing interest statement: Madhukar Pai is co-chair of the Stop TB Partnership’s New Diagnostics Working Group, the agency that supported the development of the website referred to in this blog. He was also the lead author of the 2008 paper in PLoS Medicine, that inspired the development of the website www.tbevidence.org, which he co-edits.

Listen to the PLoS Medicine podcast posted earlier this year in which Madhukhar Pai talks about the implications of open access publishing for tuberculosis research.

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