A better tool to diagnose tuberculosis

April 9, 2012
A lab technician from the University of Bern demonstrates the protocol for using the Xpert MTB/RIF assay to diagnose tuberculosis. Credit: © Journal of Visualized Experiments

Up to 30% of the world's population is infected with Tuberculosis (TB), but in many areas of the world, TB diagnosis still relies on insensitive, poorly standardized, and time-consuming methods. A new diagnostic tool, endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), may change that. Dr. Thomas Bodmer shows how it's done in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).

Currently, TB is diagnosed through either a , which produces a small bump on the patient's arm when administered and needs to be checked after 72 hours, and through smear microscopy, a method that was developed over a century ago. The new test is fully automated and takes about an hour and a half to give results. It is also able to determine if the patient is infected with a multidrug-resistant strain of the bacteria.

"The Xpert MTB/RIF assay is intended for use with specimens from patients for whom there is suspicion of and who fulfill the criteria outlined in the accompanied text," said Dr. Bodmer, who co-authored the article.

WHO endorsed the test in 2010, and is working to roll it out across tuberculosis-affected countries. An important aspect of this is training people to use the device, and the JoVE video-article will help with standardization. JoVE is the only peer reviewed, PubMed-indexed science journal to publish all of its content in both text and video format.

"TB is one of the most deadly infectious diseases worldwide and accurate and rapid diagnosis is essential for timely and proper treatment. This test is expected to dramatically improve the diagnosis of TB," said JoVE Science Editor, Dr. Charlotte Frank Sage. "Publication of the protocol in JoVE allows researchers around the world to see a detailed demonstration of this and will aid in establishing this technology in their laboratories and clinics."

Explore further: Novel tuberculosis research technology published

More information: The article will be published on April 9, and can be seen here: www.jove.com/video/3547/diagno … e-xpert-mtb-rif-test

Related Stories

Novel tuberculosis research technology published

February 15, 2012
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one-third of the world's population is currently infected with tuberculosis bacteria. The bacteria is incredibly resistant to treatment, and despite its prevalence, very little ...

XPert MTB/RIF cost effective for TB diagnosis in low- and middle-income settings

November 8, 2011
A study led by Frank Cobelens of the Amsterdam Institute of Global Health and Development, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and colleagues reports on the cost-effectiveness of implementing the Xpert MTB/RIF diagnostic test for ...

New TB drug-resistance test shows promise but needs investment for those diagnosed to be cured

July 26, 2011
Two research studies in this week's PLoS Medicine suggest that a new automated DNA test for tuberculosis (Xpert MTB/RIF), which can detect TB within 2 hours and has been endorsed by the World Health Organization, can significantly ...

Serological antibody tests to detect active tuberculosis are inaccurate and not cost-effective

August 9, 2011
Despite being widely available for sale in low-and-middle income countries, commercial serological tests used to detect active tuberculosis (by identifying antibodies to the tuberculosis-causing bacterium in a blood sample) ...

How fat are your lab mice?

April 4, 2012
Researchers are increasingly aware that fat in some parts of the body is more harmful than fat in other places. To help determine how obesity works, scientists turn to animal models and now, they are able to visualize how ...

Recommended for you

Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections

September 22, 2017
Group A Streptococcus bacteria cause a variety of illnesses that range from mild nuisances like strep throat to life-threatening conditions including pneumonia, toxic shock syndrome and the flesh-eating disease formally known ...

Ecosystem approach makes urinary tract infection more treatable

September 22, 2017
The biological term 'ecosystem' is not usually associated with urinary tract infections, but this should change according to Wageningen scientists.

Residents: Frontline defenders against antibiotic resistance?

September 22, 2017
Antibiotic resistance continues to grow around the world, with sometimes disastrous results. Some strains of bacteria no longer respond to any currently available antibiotic, making death by infections that were once easily ...

Individualized diets for irritable bowel syndrome better than placebo

September 21, 2017
Patients with irritable bowel syndrome who follow individualized diets based on food sensitivity testing experience fewer symptoms, say Yale researchers. Their study is among the first to provide scientific evidence for this ...

Superbug's spread to Vietnam threatens malaria control

September 21, 2017
A highly drug resistant malaria 'superbug' from western Cambodia is now present in southern Vietnam, leading to alarming failure rates for dihydroartemisinin (DHA)-piperaquine—Vietnam's national first-line malaria treatment, ...

Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system

September 21, 2017
For years, medical investigators have tried and failed to develop vaccines for a type of staph bacteria associated with the deadly superbug MRSA. But a new study by Cedars-Sinai investigators shows how staph cells evade the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.