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ASM and FIND to partner on strengthening infectious disease diagnosis in developing nations
Date:7/31/2008

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding today confirming their agreement to work in partnership for projects aimed at strengthening infectious disease diagnosis and service integration in resource-poor and transitional countries.

"The collaboration between the ASM and FIND will focus on strengthening the foundation for infectious disease diagnosis in resource-poor nations, providing novel diagnostics and laboratory expertise for tuberculosis and other infectious diseases that are appropriate to the unique circumstances found in developing nations," says Steven Specter, Chair of the ASM's International Laboratory Capacity Building Committee.

The memorandum of understanding signed by the ASM and FIND arises from a pilot project that the two organizations have been conducting in Cote d'Ivoire since April 2008. In the pilot collaboration, FIND is developing and providing rapid, accurate and affordable tuberculosis diagnostic tests that can be effectively deployed in resource poor areas while the ASM is sending experts in clinical microbiology to provide training and technical assistance in the implementation of these new tests.

"We expect our partnership to reinforce the expansion and further development of quality-assured laboratory services as part of a larger framework of health system strengthening within resource-poor settings. Combating poverty-related infectious diseases with the development and rapid introduction of new diagnostic tests where they are most needed is why partnerships like the one between FIND and ASM are extremely important," says Giorgio Roscigno, CEO of FIND.

The WHO estimates that 2 billion people, or approximately one third of the world's population, are infected with the bacteria that cause tuberculosis. Africa represents 28% of all tuberculosis cases and has the highest infection rate per capi
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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

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