Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Low-cost TB test means quicker, more reliable diagnosis for patients

Date:
July 7, 2014
Source:
Texas A&M University Health Science Center
Summary:
A new test for tuberculosis could dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis for one of the world's deadliest diseases, enabling health care providers to report results to patients within minutes, according to a study. Although preventable, TB claims three lives every minute, making it the second leading cause of mortality from an infectious disease in the world.

TB REaD™ improves the speed and accuracy of a TB diagnosis, allowing health providers to deliver results in 10 minutes and begin treatment in the same patient session.
Credit: Image courtesy of Texas A&M University Health Science Center

A new test for tuberculosis (TB) could dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis for one of the world's deadliest diseases, enabling health care providers to report results to patients within minutes, according to a study published this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Jeffrey Cirillo, Ph.D., professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, in collaboration with GBDbio, a Texas A&M spinoff company, and investigators at Stanford University, have identified a new chemical compound to spot the bacteria that cause TB with a level of sensitivity that currently takes months to produce; and results of the first human clinical trial data are promising. Findings show the test can determine that a patient has tuberculosis with 86 percent sensitivity and 73 percent specificity. Smear microscopy, the most widely used test in the world, has a significantly lower ability to detect TB, ranging between 50 to 60 percent sensitivity.

Although preventable, TB claims three lives every minute, making it the second leading cause of mortality from an infectious disease in the world. Spread through the air when an individual with active TB infection coughs or sneezes, reports show that if left untreated, a person with active TB infects an average of 10 to 15 people each year, leaving a great need for faster, more reliable testing.

Cirillo's latest breakthrough perfects the technology behind the test. Using a fluorescent substrate, the device targets BlaC -- an enzyme produced by the bacteria that cause TB -- as an indicator of the bacteria's presence. Until now, it has not been possible to target a specific TB enzyme for diagnosis.

Once sputum samples are combined with the reactive substance, a battery-powered, portable tabletop device, the TB REaD™, is then used to detect any fluorescence and deliver the diagnosis in as little as 10 minutes.

"It's simple. Take a sputum sample, treat it with the solution and put it inside the reader," Cirillo said. "A camera inside looks for a reaction between the sample and solution that produces light. No light, no infection."

Currently, there is no diagnostic tool comparable to this and while others exist, they take several months to produce the same level of sensitivity; and come with a high price tag. The latest FDA-approved model cost upwards of $20,000. The target price tag on Cirillo's test is less than $1000 for the reader and less than $5 per test. Additionally, the one-step test will require little technical expertise or resources, should take less than 30 minutes to carry out, and is easily transportable, making it an ideal candidate for field diagnosis in developing countries.

The device significantly undercuts current diagnostic methods, important, given the staggering statistic that if left untreated -- a common scenario in countries lacking infrastructure or resources to efficiently screen and follow up with infected patients -- a person with active TB has only a 50 percent chance of survival, Cirillo notes. "Interrupting disease transmission will require early and accurate detection paired with appropriate treatment," Cirillo said. "Our new, rapid point-of-care TB test dramatically reduces the current delays in diagnosis with incredible accuracy, accelerating appropriate treatment and reducing the death rate of the highly infectious disease. We're looking at a low-cost, easy-to-use test that has the potential to eradicate TB."

The test is currently in the later stages of clinical trials with plans to go to market in the next 18 months. Although the first applications will be in TB, Cirillo's detection platform -- Reporter Enzyme Fluorescence -- could be applied to many other respiratory diseases and infectious agents.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M University Health Science Center. The original article was written by Holly Lambert. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yunfeng Cheng, Hexin Xie, Preeti Sule, Hany Hassounah, Edward A. Graviss, Ying Kong, Jeffrey D. Cirillo, Jianghong Rao. Fluorogenic Probes with Substitutions at the 2 and 7 Positions of Cephalosporin are Highly BlaC-Specific for RapidMycobacterium TuberculosisDetection. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201405243

Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University Health Science Center. "Low-cost TB test means quicker, more reliable diagnosis for patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140707103747.htm>.
Texas A&M University Health Science Center. (2014, July 7). Low-cost TB test means quicker, more reliable diagnosis for patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140707103747.htm
Texas A&M University Health Science Center. "Low-cost TB test means quicker, more reliable diagnosis for patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140707103747.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins