Inaccurate TB tests are being sold across the developing world and are misdiagnosing millions of people. Alarm is being raised over serology tests being sold by private companies. These have been described by Madhukar Pai, co-chair of the STOP-TB Partnership’s diagnostics working group, as “inaccurate and useless”. This problem highlights the desperate need for better regulation and an accurate and cheap point of care test for tuberculosis. Continue reading
This week the World Health Organization endorsed a new tuberculosis (TB) test called Xpert MTB/RIF. Xpert is a revolutionary new technology that, if taken to scale in endemic countries, could completely change the public health approach to diagnosing and treating TB, which remains one of the greatest killers on the planet.
Xpert: Better than X-Rays
Xpert provides a rapid, accurate diagnosis of TB without the need for a sophisticated lab. It detects many cases that are missed by current technology, which is more than a century old, including for people who are HIV positive — where TB mortality is highest and where the majority of cases are missed by current frontline tools. Rapid diagnosis will allow patients to start appropriate treatment in hours as opposed to weeks or even months. Since over a quarter of all AIDS-related deaths are caused by TB, Xpert is a critical tool in the fight against AIDS as well. Continue reading
Last week saw a number of significant announcements in the area of vaccine development; some good news for those suffering from tuberculosis (TB) and other deadly infectious diseases. Continue reading
This week the World Health Organization (WHO) released updated data to compliment their 2009 Global Tuberculosis Control Report released on World TB Day. The earlier report released in March contained dramatic new data showing rates of TB-HIV co-infection twice as high as originally estimated.
Posted in Global Health, News, TB
Tagged Diagnostics, Drugs, Global Health, HIV, MDR-TB, TB, Tuberculosis, Vaccines, WHO