The World Health Organization gave its backing to a new molecular test that will accelerate the process of detection of tuberculosis.
The Geneva-based agency said in a statement that supports the test, developed by U.S. company Cepheid, because it could “revolutionize” the treatment and disease control through accurate diagnosis of patients in just 100 minutes, compared with current tests can take up to three months to show results.
The test uses DNA technology and requires specialized laboratories and healthcare workers with special training.
Dr Mario Raviglione of the World Health Organization, said his team did a follow up test for a period of 18 months.
“What we did recently was to see all the available literature, all studies that are available in the world and see the evidence. Later the policy was developed, the recommendations we make to countries around the world for use and adoption of this new tool.
“Now we are ready to tell the world that this is a revolutionary tool that should apply as soon as possible in all parts of the world,” he added.
More than a century
The traditional screening test – which uses the patient’s saliva, has been in use for 125 years and takes three months to produce the result.
The new test takes less than three hours and has proven more reliable for diagnosing patients attacked by a strain of TB resistant to the remedies or in the case of patients who are carriers of human immunodeficiency virus, HIV.
Dr. Giorgio Roscigno, CEO of the Foundation to Get Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), one of the two organizations that participated in the trial, said they have reduced the cost of technology to make it more accessible to countries developing. “I am thrilled with the support of WHO in this technology because it has the real potential to have a huge impact in terms of mortality in endemic countries. I am also very proud to announce that we have achieved a massive 75% reduction on the cost of this technology compared to the price that is being sold to developed countries, “he said.