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New approach of resistant tuberculosis
Date:8/10/2012

one immediately sees those bacilli escaping treatment. The scientists improved the detection of the luminous bacilli by replacing the classical fluorescence microscope with its LED counterpart. Together with colleagues in Bangladesh they tested the approach in the field for four years. This was made possible by a grant from the Damien Foundation another possible sponsor had fobbed them off because their technique was too unknown.

But their approach works, also in a poor country. If after treatment the FDA-test was negative, in 95% of cases more elaborate tests didn't find active bacilli in the patient's sputum either. And if the test was positive, you could bet your boots that you had found a resistant bacillus.

This simple test allows, also in resource-limited labs, to detect a high number of resistant TB bacilli that otherwise would have been discovered too late or not at all. The scientists report in the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease that three times more patients could directly switch to the correct second-line treatment without losing time on a regimen ineffective against their resistant bacilli. On top of that, the technique can cut in half the number of cases where doctors start a retreatment 'just to stay on the safe side', because it ascertains that the bacilli detected by the classical microscopy in fact are dead ones, which do not require further treatment.


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Contact: prof Bouke De Jong
bdejong@itg.be
32-324-76590
Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
Source:Eurekalert  

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