New blood test to reliably detect TB
A new blood test has been developed to provide a fast and accurate tool to diagnose tuberculosis in children.
About one million children develop tuberculosis (TB) globally each year but detecting it has been a challenge as the symptoms are often similar to those of common illnesses including pneumonia and malnutrition.
The newly developed test (TAM-TB assay) is the first reliable immuno-diagnostic assay to detect active tuberculosis in children, researchers said.
"This rapid and reliable test has the great potential to significantly improve the diagnosis of active tuberculosis in children," said Klaus Reither from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) in Switzerland who coordinated the study.
The new TAM-TB assay is a sputum-independent blood test.
Using standard intracellular cytokine staining procedures and polychromatic flow cytometry, the test result is available within 24 hours after blood sampling.
The new test was assessed in tuberculosis endemic regions in Tanzania at the Ifakara Health Institute and the NIMR Mbeya Medical Research Center.
The study appeared in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.
(Posted on 01-09-2014)