Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Revolutionary new test to help eliminate Tuberculosis

03.12.2002


A revolutionary new test for identifying people infected with tuberculosis (TB), one of the leading causes of death worldwide, will shortly be launched by Oxford Immunotec Ltd, a new Oxford University spin-off company. The test radically improves the speed and accuracy with which the disease can be identified. It has been developed to replace the existing skin test for TB, which is given to 600,000 UK schoolchildren every year.



Oxford Immunotec’s test has come from discoveries made over the last seven years at the University of Oxford by Dr Ajit Lalvani and collaborators at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital. A replacement for the 100-year-old skin test is long overdue but, until now, there has not been a better way of diagnosing infection.
The Oxford Immunotec test is based on patented technology which provides a simple and extremely accurate way of studying a person’s cellular immune response to an infection. Every time someone becomes infected with a disease, the body produces specific cells (white blood cells) to fight the infection. The new test looks to see if the body has produced these cells in response to TB and monitors how their numbers change over time. In this way, it is possible to determine if a person is infected and whether they are effectively fighting the infection. This powerful technique can be used not only for diagnosis of infections, but also for prognosis of disease and monitoring of treatment.

Crucially, the Oxford Immunotec test will also make it possible to accurately identify people who are carrying TB infection, but who have not yet gone on to develop disease. Diagnosing and treating infected people before they go on to develop severe disease and infect others is essential to prevent the spread of TB and save lives. TB kills between two and three million people each year, and the death toll is increasing. TB in the UK has risen almost every year for the last 15 years, with 6,500 newly diagnosed cases each year.



Since 1998, Dr Lalvani has used this rapid blood test in double blinded, randomised studies to prove its effectiveness in over 2,000 TB patients and healthy controls in eight different countries. These studies demonstrate that the new test is a radical improvement on the current skin test, and that, unlike the skin test, it works well in people with weaker immune systems, such as children, the elderly and those immunosuppressed with diseases like HIV.

Dr Peter Wrighton-Smith, CEO of Oxford Immunotec, said: ’We are extremely excited about this new test which we believe will revolutionise TB control. This test is needed as never before because TB is resurging in the developed world and already parts of the UK have TB rates as high as India. The huge amount of clinical data gathered to date proves this technology works and we are already looking to apply it to other diseases where the cellular immune response is critical, such as HIV, Hepatitis C and Cancer.’

Barbara Hott | alfa

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>