A new blood test will soon provide a fast and accurate way of diagnosing tuberculosis (TB) in children, a new study reports. Published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, the study found that the new TAM-TB test is fast, specific and sensitive, making it the perfect diagnostic tool for areas in which TB is prevalent.
The test works by identifying the lack of a surface marker bacteria called CD27 in the blood. Results are available within 24-hours of sampling the patient’s blood.
First used in Tanzania, researchers are now ready to try it out in other regions with the hope of refining the test to optimize performance, especially in high risk populations.
“This rapid and reliable test has the great potential to significantly improve the diagnosis of active tuberculosis in children,” says Klaus Reither of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, one of the study coordinators.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one-third of the world’s population is infected with the tuberculosis bacteria, and nearly nine million people were diagnosed with TB last year. 1.3 million deaths were reported world-wide from the disease.
While a test like TAM-TB can help curb infection rates, TB treatment can still be very difficult and costly.
For more information on tuberculosis, or if you have any questions about other diseases with global impact like pneumonia or malaria, a Passport Health vaccine specialist is here to help at 1-888-499-PASS (7277).