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New one-hour diagnostic test for TB developed

Published on 15/09/2010
A new test could help people improve a healthcare plan for those with tuberculosis (TB) by delivering a faster diagnosis and so allowing for speedier treatment.

Scientists at the Health Protection Agency (HPA) claim they have developed a technique that can allow doctors to identify TB in less than one hour.

Currently, the standard test for the disease can take up to eight weeks to deliver a result.

While quicker tests that identify TB on a molecular level exist, research has shown they may not deliver an accurate result in every case.

The HPA says that its new test is much more sensitive as it uses a technique known as a real-time polymerase chain reaction.

This enables a piece of DNA to be copied millions of times and so allows more DNA to be tested.

Justin McCracken, HPA's chief executive, said: "Reducing the stress of waiting for test results and diagnosing a patient immediately will certainly benefit the way TB is treated in UK.

"This is truly pioneering research and we look forward to the results of future trials that will hopefully result in the roll out a new test that will have an impact on the incidence of the infection not only in the UK but globally."

Over nine million new cases of TB are estimated to occur around the world every year, with around 9,000 in the UK.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Medical
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