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Diagnostic Procedure For Tuberculosis Made Easy

Gone are the days where a patient has to wait for weeks to get the test results of tuberculosis, as it now takes just a few days for the disease that claim about 5,000 lives a day in the world//.

A new diagnostic test can identify its bacteria in a few days' time.

The Imperial College of London has developed a new diagnosis that identifies its bacteria in days and experts say it can save million of lives, reports online edition of BBC News.

Although TB is a curable disease, if left untreated, almost 70 percent of people afflicted with the disease die. A single person with infectious TB can infect 10-15 people a year.

The drugs that are being used now were developed about 40 years ago, and the diagnostic test conducted now was developed in the 1880s.

The new test developed by Dr David Moore grows samples in a special liquid and analyses them with a sophisticated microscope.

Not only does the new test enable the TB bacteria to be identified more quickly, it allows doctors to add various drugs to the liquid media in which the sample is grown to determine which would be most effective in tackling the infection.

This is particularly important given the emergence of multi-drug resistant strains of the disease, the report said.

Currently being developed in Lima, Peru, it has beaten 1,200 other entries to win the top prize at the Medical Futures Innovation Awards 2005.

The judges, chaired by Professor Sally Davies, director of research and development at the Department of Health, choose Dr Moore's test because of its simplicity and its huge potential to have a global impact.

"It demonstrates the ingenuity of an innovator in taking a simple laboratory finding and applying it to meet a widespread clinical need. It's just what Alexander Fleming did in 1928 with Penicillin," said Davies

Paul Sommerfeld, of the charity TB Alert, said he was "very excit ed" by the test, but more finance was needed to develop it further.

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