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Unnecessary TB deaths to be thing of the past thanks to new mobile drug resistance test device

Thousands of deaths from tuberculosis (or TB), an infectious bacterial disease, could be prevented using a new hand-held device that is being developed to detect potentially fatal drug resistance in less than 15 minutes.

Currently neither the TB infection itself, nor those people with strains of the disease that are resistant to the most common drugs, can be identified quickly enough for patients to be given a specific prescription without considerable delays.

The test which uses a small cartridge to hold the sputum sample from patients could be used by doctors, nurses and health professionals in developing countries and in cities where TB is seeing a re-emergence. The test will integrate the DNA analysis device with sputum analysing technology and a TB identification system developed by St George’s, University of London and its partners.

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Comments (1)

  1. After reading this article, I think it is wonderful that we are able to develop a hand held device to detect such a deadly disease in people within just a few minutes. This could save many lives if these people are treated early on. Perhaps people will become proactive and advocate having these tests made readily available in all countries not just the countries that we are seeing an increase in TB cases. Although, it is a wonderful advancement in technology, I have to wonder if it a matter of time before TB becomes drug resistant to the current antibiotics available today. With many diseases becoming drug resistant to currently used medications, we may end up seeing a rise in TB cases again.

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