Navigation Links
Experimental TB Test Called Fast and Accurate

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental test that can diagnose tuberculosis in less than two hours, making only one doctor visit necessary before treatment starts, is being hailed as a potentially significant advance against a disease that kills nearly 2 million people annually, most of them in developing countries.

"This is a very important discovery," said infectious disease expert Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at New York University. "This could be an important tool worldwide, and even here in the United States."

The test, known as the "Xpert MTB/RIF" test for Mycobacterium tuberculosis and resistance to rifampin (RIF), appears to be more than 97 percent accurate and is even able to diagnose drug-resistant TB, researchers said.

A report on the researchers' work was published in the Sept. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Further trials of the new test are planned, the researchers said.

Current testing for tuberculosis (TB) involves looking at sputum (respiratory mucus) under a microscope. But Siegel said such testing, which has been in use for more than a century, isn't always accurate. It also can take weeks for results from a TB culture, and infections can be missed.

"That [the existing test] is knives and bearskins compared to this" new test, Siegel said. The one potential drawback to the new test would be the expense, he said, adding, "The key question is what's it going to cost?"

For the study, a research team led by Dr. Catharina C. Boehme, of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics in Geneva, Switzerland, used the Xpert MTB/RIF test on 1,730 patients suspected of having drug-sensitive or multidrug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis. The patients were from Azerbaijan, India, Peru and South Africa.

The test diagnosed tuberculosis in 99.2 percent of the patients, the researchers found. It also detected TB in 72.5 percent of people with the disease who had not been diagnosed with the conventional microscopic exam.

"The test that we developed finally makes it possible to detect TB in a single clinic visit," Dr. David Alland, chief of infectious diseases at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, said in a university news release.

"The test also indicates rapidly whether difficult-to-treat, drug-resistant forms are present," he said.

The test was created by the California-based corporation Cepheid, which plans to seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the test, which went on sale late last year in Europe.

The test costs about $63 in Europe, but the company has agreed to provide it for less than half that in poor countries, said John Bishop, Cepheid's chief executive officer, as quoted in a story by the Associated Press. The machine costs around $30,000, but would be priced under $20,000 in poor countries, he told the AP.

Tuberculosis is a chronic bacterial infection that's spread through the air and usually infects the lungs, although other organs of the body can be involved. Most people who are infected with tuberculosis bacterium (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) don't have symptoms, but some will develop the disease, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Some 2 billion people -- one-third of the world's population -- are thought to be infected with tuberculosis bacteria. Though largely eliminated in developed countries, TB remains a leading killer of young adults worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that 8 million people develop active TB each year and nearly 2 million die.

More information

To learn more about tuberculosis, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor, medicine, New York University, New York City; Sept. 1, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine; University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, news release, Sept. 1, 2010

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Experimental treatments for cocaine addiction may prevent relapse
2. Experimental obesity drug avoids brain effects that troubled predecessors
3. Experimental nonsteroidal treatment of asthma shows promise
4. Experimental targeted therapy shows early promise against medulloblastomas
5. Experimental Vaccine Shields Monkeys Against Ebola
6. Experimental Drug Offers Hope for Cystic Fibrosis Patients
7. Solar Eclipz's Portable Umbrella And Canopy Curtain, Called The ezShade, Wins Coveted Outstanding Product Award From Disney Owned iParenting Media Awards
8. FDA Found Bacteria in Ingredients for Recalled Tylenol, Benadryl
9. Inspirational Short Video for Adults Who Celebrate Their Mothers Called "A Poem for Mothers" Released on YouTube
10. Dr. Robert True Responds to a New York Time Article About a New Cosmetic Procedure Called Awake Breast Augmentation
11. Latino children with asthma less accurate in determining their lung function
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin ... injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his ... of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on E ... goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not ... as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... PASADENA, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. ... he would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, ... table, he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, ... treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic ... osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing their ... in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by nominating ... of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In April, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: DHRM ) ... medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory products in ... with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred ... to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical technology business. ... Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to reach Dehaier,s dealers ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 According to ... Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length ... Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends ... report studies the market for the forecast period of ... USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion ...
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator in the ... cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it has secured ... led by Innova Memphis, followed by Angel Capital ... Arkis, new financing will accelerate the commercialization of ... of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: