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

ta. Tuberculosis is a leading cause of death among people living with HIV/AIDS and most of the world's 200,000 HIV/TB deaths occur in Africa.

One of the primary challenges is that modern diagnostic tools for tuberculosis in industrialized countries are not suited to the infrastructure of resource poor nations where in some cases just getting reliable electricity is a problem. New, reliable diagnostics that can be effectively implemented in developing nations, as well as the expertise to use them, are urgently needed.

FIND is prioritizing tests that can be adopted at the lowest level of the health system, where a large number of patients first seek care. The technologies targeted for each level are intended to match the human resources available and the degree of complexity of the diagnostic question. Some of the diagnostic tools expected to be introduced into control programs will be incremental improvements on existing technologies while others will be radically new.

ASM, through its International Laboratory Capacity Building program, is ensuring the quality-assured implementation of new and existing diagnostic tools in resource-limited countries through onsite training and technical assistance. For this purpose, ASM is strengthening clinical microbiology laboratories by mobilizing its members to build human resource capacity for diagnosis of tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.

The memorandum of understanding is expected to serve as the beginning of a close collaboration between the ASM and FIND towards maximizing their complementary strengths and contributions to global health efforts.


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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

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