Wow! Giant rats to sniff out tuberculosis in African prisons – Watch
African giant pouched rats to carry out the mass screenings for TB in prisons.
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Scientists in East Africa are training rats to sniff out tuberculosis to help diagnose tuberculosis (TB)among inmates of crowded prisons in Tanzania and Mozambique.
APOPO, a Belgian non-governmental organisation, has been training African giant pouched rats to carry out the mass screenings for TB in prisons, considered incubators of tuberculosis due to their high populations and confined conditions.
TB detection by rats - Watch how it works here-
Video credit: APOPO HeroRATs/YouTube
Widely known for their work sniffing out landmines, the rats have been trained to recognise the presence of TB in samples of sputum, mucus that is coughed up from the patient’s lower airways.
It is believed that the new technique will improve the accuracy, speed and cost-efficiency of testing for TB as a trained rat can screen 100 samples in 20 minutes whereas a laboratory technician may take four days to detect the disease.
Globally, tuberculosis is a top infectious disease killer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 9 million new cases a year worldwide and around 2 million deaths.