The study shows that the test, which involves taking three sputum samples from a patient over the course of one day, is just as effective as other more invasive and complicated testing methods, which take three days.
For the new test, patients use a nebuliser to inhale salty water, or hypertonic saline, for twenty minutes. This enables them to produce sputum samples from deep inside the lungs. The samples can then be analysed for traces of mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium which causes most cases of TB.
Other procedures for testing for TB are gastric washing and bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage. These invasive procedures involve placing tubes in the stomach, to collect samples of mucus swallowed during the night, or the broncial tubes, to try to wash bacteria from infected lung tissue. Patients have to be in hospital for three days to allow these samples to be collected and analysed, delaying the start of treatment.
Such tests are given where patients have symptoms or chest radiography results that suggest the patient might have TB and they are unable to cough up a sputum sample.
The new research, which was carried out by researchers from Imperial College London and Northwick Park Hospital NHS Trust, showed that the new test is just as effective, if not more so, than existing methods for diagnosing TB. In the 140 people who were examined, use of 3 sputum specimens correctly detected TB in 39% of the patients. Gastric washing detected TB in 30% of the same patient sample. No additional cases were diagnosed in the 21 patients who underwent bronchoscopy.
Dr Robert Davidson, from the Division of Medicine at Imperial College and the Department of Infection and Tropical Medicine at Northwick Park Hospital NHS Trust, and one of the authors of the research, said: "This is a simple method of collecting bacteria from individuals with the early stages of TB, and who are unable to cough sputum samples. By doing all the tests in one day, we can start treatment sooner and get patients home sooner. Previously we relied on bronchoscopy or gastric washings, which were uncomfortable for the patient and required a longer stay in hospital. The patient breathing nebulised hypertonic saline feels little or no unpleasant sensation, and it is a very cheap test".
According to the Health Protection Agency, the incidence of TB in the UK is increasing, with around 8,000 new cases a year. Cases in the UK are predominantly confined to the major cities and about 40 per cent of all cases are in London. TB is also a major global problem: an estimated one-third of the world's population – nearly two billion people – are infected. Nine million people a year develop the active disease worldwide, which kills two million each year.
Laura Gallagher | alfa
Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences