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Research on improvements in diagnosing and treating tuberculosis
Date:6/19/2012

linical aspects of tuberculosis; this facilitates the transformation of our results into clinical applications", comments the professor.

UC3M is participating in this project as a technological partner. Its contribution is focused on its role as a specialist in pre-clinical molecular imaging in animal models. The short-term goal is to develop a low-cost tomographic X-ray technique for rapid screenings. With such a technique, the scientists could follow the evolution of the disease and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments in animal models. The long term goal is to perfect this technique, including positron emission tomography (PET) in order to make it more sensitive and specific, so that it can be used to take quantitative measurements. This procedure would substitute the one that is currently being carried out in the laboratory, which is slower and more costly. To complete this substitution, changes in the imaging technology will be introduced, so that greater resolution can be obtained. "This wayVaquero explains- with just one examination, we will be able to visualize the complete lung of a rat or guinea pig, with enough detail to detect the disease at its earliest possible stage".

This is the first time the use of quantitative molecular imaging is proposed to study the disease in animal models. It carries a technological and methodological challenge, because its development requires blending various research groups: new electronic radiation detection technologies are going to be used to improve the sensitivity of the current systems and, at the same time, algorithms for image reconstruction and quantitative analysis that accompany the new electronic technology are going to be applied.

A forgotten disease

This project is centered on the so-called "forgotten diseases" or "developing countries' diseases", specifically on tuberculosis. For the last thirty years there have been no new approaches to treating this patholog
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Contact: Ana Herrera
oic@uc3m.es
Carlos III University of Madrid
Source:Eurekalert  

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