Tuesday August 20, 2019

New Diagnostic Tools Can Help People with Tuberculosis

For the study, the team included 50 people

WHO will start working towards ending Tuberculosis
Dr. Simon Angelo (L) examines Iman Steven suffering from tuberculosis, held by her mother (R) at the hospital of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), June 15, 2016, at the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal, South Sudan. VOA

New diagnostic tools such as Machine Learning and precision medicine could help identify tuberculosis patients with the highest risk of reactivation of the disease, say researchers.

Researchers from the University of Michigan in the US have shown that identifying multiple biomarkers can provide a more accurate diagnosis for patients with Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI).

LTBI is when a person is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis but does not have active tuberculosis.

“A multi-array test can provide a more detailed, disease specific glimpse into patient’s infection and likely outcome,” said Ryan Bailey, Professor at the varsity.

“Using a precision medicine approach reveals previously obscured diagnostic signatures and reactivation risk potential,” said Bailey.

The new diagnostic tools will help identify patients with the highest risk of reactivation and will benefit from therapy, said the researchers.

A new substance may help fight tuberculosis: study
Novel tools could help treat patients with TB. Wikimedia Commons

In addition, the tools will reduce some of the side effects of over treatment and can be used in the detection of other diseases like autoimmune diseases and cancer, according to the study, published in Integrative Biology.

Currently, LTBI is tested through a skin scratch test or a blood test that can identify one biomarker but cannot distinguish between memory immune response, vaccine-initiated response, and non-tuberculous mycobacteria exposure.

The possibility of correctly identifying the disease through these tests is less than five per cent.

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LTBI affects nearly two billion individuals around the world and about 10 per cent of those cases result in active tuberculosis. The reactivation from latency can happen anytime and the mechanism for it is not well-understood.

For the study, the team included 50 people. (IANS)

Next Story

U.S. Regulators Approve New Tuberculosis Drug that Shows Dramatic Results

The new drug, Pretomanid, was developed by the nonprofit TB Alliance

FILE - A tuberculosis patient receives treatment at a clinic in Jakarta, Indonesia. VOA

U.S. regulators Wednesday approved a new tuberculosis drug that when taken with two other medicines shows dramatic results.

The new drug, Pretomanid, was developed by the nonprofit TB Alliance.

A study shows that when taken with taken with two other drugs. Pretomanid cured 90% of patients suffering from a strain of TB that is resistant to other treatments.

The study shows the three-drug cocktail can cure TB in about six months and can also stop patients from spreading the disease in just a few days.

US, Tuberculosis, Drug
U.S. regulators Wednesday approved a new tuberculosis drug that when taken with two other medicines shows dramatic results. Pixabay

Most current TB treatments require patients to take multiple numbers of pills and months of very painful daily shots. This treatment of pills and shots can last as long as two years. Doctors say many patients either give up first or die.

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Tuberculosis generally attacks the lungs and is spread when someone with the infection sneezes or coughs. It kills about 1.6 million people every year worldwide. (VOA)