New simple blood test to diagnose tuberculosis in kids

Tuberculosis in children can now be detected with a simple blood test.

Zee Media Bureau

Washington: Tuberculosis in children can now be detected with a simple blood test.

Earlier the diagnosis of TB was often difficult because the symptoms in children are mostly non-specific and similar to those of other illnesses like pneumonia and malnutrition.

This blood test named as TAM-TB assay is the first reliable immunodiagnostic assay to detect active tuberculosis in children, and is a major advance for the diagnosis of tuberculosis, particularly in tuberculosis-endemic regions.

TAM-TB assay provides a fast and accurate tool to diagnose tuberculosis in children. It is a sputum-independent blood test and makes use of an immunological phenomenon during tuberculosis disease. During an active infection, the expression of CD27 -a surface marker expressed on mycobacteria specific CD4+ T cells  is lost. Using standard intracellular cytokine staining procedures and polychromatic flow cytometry, the test result is available within 24 hours after blood sampling.

TB is a global public health emergency according to WHO and a serious health problem especially in low-resource countries . Every year about 1 million children die due to this disease.

With Agency Inputs

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