Tuberculosis, or, TB is a lung infection considered by WHO as one of the most common and deadly infectious diseases today. It is prevalent in developing countries, particularly in Asia and Africa, claiming about 2 million lives annually worldwide.
A key to tuberculosis treatment and control, however, is speedy detection. In a press release issued recently, Chemogen announced that their rapid tuberculosis detection strips, MTB ICT (Strip) Format, are now being tested in Tanzania, and pending favorable results, hope to bring it out to the market next year.
How does the diagnostic test work?
Rabbits are infected with a dead TB virus. The rabbits produce antibodies to fight the virus, and a small amount of serum is taken from the rabbits. The antibodies are separated from the serum, and Chemogen uses them in its tests to detect the presence of TB in a patient’s urine sample.
Chemogen is in partnership with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, a global nonprofit supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. If this test works, it’s going to be a major leap from the conventional sputum microscopy test to detect tuberculosis. It may also be a valuable contribution to The Global Plan To Stop TB.