Navigation Links
Experimental TB Test Called Fast and Accurate
Date:9/2/2010

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Dickinson Insurance and Financial Services, a ... services, is providing an update on a charitable event that began earlier this ... a locally recognized nonprofit that provides shelter and care for animals seeking new ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... While it’s often important to take certain medications during the night, ... has identified a solution. , She developed a prototype for MOTION LIGHT-UP PILL BOX ... eliminates the need to turn on a light when taking medication during the night, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals ... the field of eating disorders, announces the opening of early registration for the ... at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. , The annual iaedp™ Symposium ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, along with clinical ... the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the 15th Annual Women’s Health ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , ... mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. ... EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a ... targeted tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... ... ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Sept. 18, 2017 EpiVax, ... of bioinformatics and immune engineering, today announced ... influenza A (H7N9) vaccine. ... to seasonal influenza and presents a challenge ... prior exposure to be effective. Using state-of-the-art ...
(Date:9/12/2017)...  Consumer reviews on the independent review site Consumer Affairs ... company for hearing aids, ranking it higher than Miracle Ear ... ... For Hearing Aids ... online store that provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German-engineered hearing aids directly ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: