New test to get TB sufferers on the right drug treatments sooner

Tuberculosis sufferers will be able get drug treatment sooner thanks to a new whole genome sequencing technique to determine for the first time which drugs to give sufferers, researchers in Oxford have reported.

University of Oxford researchers at the John Radcliffe Hospital have developed a genetic test – details of which are published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases – that can detect which drugs will effectively treat people with the disease and those that will not.

The new test studied the whole TB genome – its entire DNA code – to identify mutations that cause drug resistance and those that don’t.

It means doctors will be able to rule out but also, for the first time, rule in which drugs to give to sufferers without the need for a lengthy laboratory culture test. The test will return results in about three weeks.

This will speed up diagnosis of sufferers, particularly in developing countries where TB rates are highest, so they get the right drugs sooner.

The test is being trialled in the Midlands by Public Health England and, if successful, it is hoped it will be rolled out across the country.

You can read moe about the research on the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre's website


More articles     Posted on: 26 June 2015