The Indian Council for Medical Research announced a cost-effective diagnostic tool as good as GeneXpert test which is a popular test to detect TB.
This tool is developed by a Bengaluru-based company and is expected to be available in a year.
The government of India is trying to eradicate tuberculosis after having made the nation polio-free.
‘Tuberculosis usually caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis affects the lungs and kills nearly half of those affected if untreated.’
Approximately two-three million in India have tuberculosis, which is the largest in the world. The WHO also estimates that over two lakh people in India have died from TB in 2014 alone.
ICMR Director General Soumya Swaminathan also said that if the evaluation of the test shows a positive result, this test might even replace the GeneXpert test that gives results in a couple of hours with minimal technical time.
ICMR is currently focused on research to develop better and faster diagnostic tools and treatment strategies. Apart from tuberculosis, it is also working on developing vaccines for major infections like malaria and HIV.
Swaminathan also said that the phase-1 trials for the malaria vaccine shall start soon after the necessary approvals have been obtained.