Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Simple Low-Cost Test for Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Simple Low-Cost Test for Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

Article excerpt

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London have developed a simple test kit that may be used to identify Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates resistant to rifampicin. The kit is suitable for screening large numbers of tubercular strains and also has the potential for use in testing susceptibility to streptomycin. The end-point of the test is a simple color chanff, and results are available within 48 hours.

The test uses mycobacteriophage D29, a type of virus which only infects and multiplies within live mvcobacteria. Rifampicin stops infection of the mycobacteria by the bacteriophage in susceptible strains but not in drug-resistant bacteria. Thus, if the bacteriophage multiply when rifampicin is present, the bacteria under test are drug resistant.

This technology of rapid phage-based detection was first demonstrated two years ago and further cost-analysis work was presented at the World Congress on Lung Health held in Florence in September 2000. …

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