Highly Efficient Test Developed by Scientists To Detect Tuberculosis

A global team of Rutgers’ scientists has developed a urine diagnostic test that can detect a tuberculosis infection in a highly efficient and quick manner, mainly in people who are infected with HIV.

More Details about the Tuberculosis Diagnosis Studies
TB is one of most common infectious diseases occurring all over the world, and is a prime cause of death among people who are affected with HIV. Most TB deaths can be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment. To facilitate this prevention, a team from the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School that includes Abraham Pinter, a professor in the Department of Medicine and the Public Health Institute at the School, studied the possibility of introducing an easy test for diagnosis of the disease.

According to Pinter, a promising TB diagnostic test was developed many years ago that detected a glycolipid antigen called lipoarabinomannan (LAM) in urine samples belonging to actively infected patients. This test operated in a lateral flow platform, which was similar to the action of a dipstick used for pregnancy tests. Urine samples were used mainly as they are easily accessible and highly suitable for such study. However, this test had limited sensitivity and gave positive results only in a small fraction of very sick patients who are co-infected with HIV.

To serve as a replacement, scientists from the Rutgers Medical School developed a new assay that was considerably more sensitive than the previous one. The new assay consisted of a key monoclonal antibody component that was isolated from infected patients. This antibody strongly recognized the form of LAM present in urine samples derived from patients.

The findings were announced at a United Nations meeting on TB held on September 26, 2018. According to Pinter, by performing this test in a larger number of patients, the institute hopes to prove its utility in identifying new cases of infection, thereby hopefully reducing mortality rates.