London: A team of British scientists has devised a new ultra-sensitive test that can spot the presence of the tuberculosis bacterium in an hour.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has developed the test.
Its developers claim the test can spot all strains of the disease and could reduce both the incidence and the consequences of the disease worldwide.
The new test focuses on a particular DNA region within the bacterium, which the researchers say is present in all strains of the disease.
Once a sample is taken, scientific techniques know as a "polymerase chain reaction" is used to amplify the volume of DNA available so that the genetic signature can be identified.
"This is a new test," the BBC quoted HPA’s Dr Cath Arnold, who led the study, as saying.
"We’re looking for a genetic marker which is present in all strains of TB we’ve seen so far," he added.