A scientist has developed a new diagnostic test for TB, called Xpert MTB/RIF, which can provide results quickly and efficiently.
The test, developed by Dr. David Alland, chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, can simultaneously identify Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and resistance to the common first-line drug for treating TB and a reliable surrogate marker of strains that are multidrug-resistant (MDR-TB).
Test results that used to take weeks can now be available within hours.
Dr. Alland believes the device will transform TB diagnostics.
"It brings the diagnostic laboratory to the patient's bedside and provides results within hours. We are very excited and hopeful that this test will dramatically improve tuberculosis detection and treatment," said Dr. Alland.
Health officials from Cepheid, the manufacturer of the device, believe the test will fill the need for accurate and rapid detection of tuberculosis, which is becoming increasingly acute.