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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WHO Recommends a DNA based Rapid Test for Diagnosis of TB, Xpert

Posted by Prahallad Panda on 5:11 PM Comments

The Mantoux test for tuberculosis diagnosis. S...
The Mantoux test for tuberculosis diagnosis. Source: http://phil.cdc.gov/Phil/detail.asp?id=1203 pt:Imagem:Mantoux test.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A rapid tuberculosis (TB) test could significantly improve treatment and reduce the number of deaths in Southern Africa, according to a study published online November 20 in PLOS Medicine.
 Xpert is an automated DNA test that can identify TB and determine whether or not it is resistant to rifampin in just 2 hours. The World Health Organization has recommended it for use in those at high risk for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and/or HIV-associated TB.

The current method of TB diagnosis uses sputum smear microscopy, a method that has limited sensitivity, particularly among patients who have HIV. Culture and antibiotic sensitivity testing is slow and relatively expensive and may not be feasible in high-volume settings.
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