Updated Sep 13, 2019


Animal-based detection of tuberculosis


Lily Shallom

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Stage 2: Research & Development

The primary objective is to assess the sensitivity and specificity of detection rats as a triage tool compared to GeneXpert as the reference standard. The secondary objective is to determine the yield of the total screening algorithm when GeneXpert is used as the confirmatory diagnostic test.
Registered in Mozambiquein Mozambique

Focus Areas:

Health and Infectious & Vector Diseases

Health and Infectious & Vector DiseasesSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Mozambique and Tanzania

Mozambique and TanzaniaSEE LESS

Countries Implemented In
Funds Raised to Date
Verified Funding

Innovation Description

APOPO uses trained African Giant Pouched Rats, nicknamed “HeroRATs,” to detect tuberculosis (TB) by scent in clinical samples in Tanzania and Mozambique.APOPO is assessing the sensitivity, specificity, and cost-effectiveness of detection rats as a triage tool when paired with GeneXpert, a highly accurate but relatively expensive DNA diagnostic tool endorsed by the World Health Organization.
How does your innovation work?
The results from this study will be used to determine the cost-effectiveness of detection rats as a triage tool. We hypothesize that TB detection rats are a very cost-effective diagnostic tool, given their evaluation speed, the low evaluation and maintenance costs, and their promising diagnostic accuracy.

Planned Goals and Milestones

We propose a oneyear multisite study in Tanzania and Mozambique, in which 2,500 prison inmates, new entrants and remandees of prisons located in the respective countries will be examined for TB. The cost-effectiveness of a screening algorithm including TB detection rats as a triage tool will be rigorously assessed alongside the proposed project by using decision analytic modeling. Preliminary findings confirm that TB detection rats indeed are more cost-effective than competing triage tools.


Apr 2016
Funds RaisedVERIFIED
Implemented InTanzania
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Date Unknown
Recognition ReceivedVERIFIED
Profiled Innovation - Gold
Date Unknown
Recognition ReceivedPENDING

Supporting Materials