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A rapid screening tool for TB developed by scientists at Stellenbosch University

A rapid screening tool for TB developed by scientists at Stellenbosch University

The Stellenbosch University along with a multi national team of researchers and scientists has developed a point of care rapid diagnostic test for Tuberculosis(TB).

“This low-cost screening test has the potential to significantly speed up TB diagnosis in resource-limited setting,” says co-inventor, Prof Gerhard Walzl of Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. The test diagnosis based on blood obtained from a finger prick can be delivered within an hour. The new invention is a hand-held, battery-operated instrument that  measures chemicals in the blood of people with possible TB.

The screen TB Consortium will be testing the accuracy and efficacy of the instrument in  African countries  during the next three years, states a press release of the Stellenbosch University  . The device is currently said to be in a developmental stage.TB diagnostics has taken great leaps in recent times improving the field of diagnostics in a big way. ; however, high costs and  sophisticated equipment required, does make this technology out of reach for many.

“People in remote areas with high TB incidence still do not benefit from the newer developments and face long diagnostic delays and often multiple return visits to clinics before they are diagnosed,” says Walzl. The new diagnostic test besides providing prompt results  will also enable patients with TB to be diagnosed at a go and get started on treatment during a single visit to a Healthcare facility.

 

Source: Stellenbosch University
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