Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New technique may quickly distinguish between active and latent TB

An emerging technique designed to quickly distinguish between people with active and dormant tuberculosis may help health professionals diagnose the disease sooner, thereby potentially limiting early exposure to the disease, according to a study conducted by researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

"Current blood tests for tuberculosis are reasonably good at distinguishing between uninfected and infected persons, but cannot tell the whether an infected person has active, and possibly infectious, tuberculosis or has latent infection," said senior author Jason Stout, M.D., M.H.S., assistant professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center. "Generally a culture is required to tell the difference between latent infection and active tuberculosis, but a culture usually requires weeks to deliver a result. A rapid test that could tell the difference between latent and active tuberculosis would be a major step forward."

The findings will be reported at the ATS 2010 International Conference in New Orleans.

"This pilot study explored whether using patterns in the immune response to tuberculosis could be helpful in improving rapid diagnosis of the disease," Dr. Stout said.

Dr. Stout and colleagues collected whole blood samples from 71 people belonging to one of three groups: those with active tuberculosis, those with latent tuberculosis infection, and those who were not infected with tuberculosis. After exposing the samples to pieces of the tuberculosis bacteria to stimulate an immune response, researchers measured the levels of 25 specific proteins, called cytokines, to determine the presence of a pattern that could allow them to differentiate among the three groups.

"We found that a pattern of two cytokines, called MCP-1 and IL-15, was reasonably good at differentiating between persons sick with TB and persons infected but not sick," Stout said. "In addition, a third cytokine, called IP-10, looked promising in distinguishing between uninfected persons and infected individuals."

Stout said that while previous studies identified all three cytokines as possible individual predictors of tuberculosis infection, the usefulness of the combination of MCP-1 and IL-15 was unexpected.

"These findings could lead to earlier diagnosis of active tuberculosis, which could be beneficial for both the sick person and others around her or him who might be spared from infection," Dr. Stout noted. "There is also the potential for avoiding unnecessary and potentially toxic medications in persons who are not sick with tuberculosis."

Although the initial results were promising, Dr. Stout noted the sampling for this pilot study was limited, and added that further research would be needed to determine if the results could be replicated in a larger population, "ideally a group of persons suspected of having tuberculosis."

"Future studies may also help researchers determine whether examining additional cytokines would improve on the accuracy of our results," he added.

"Multi-Cytokine Profiles After Tuberculosis Antigen Stimulation: A Search for New Biomarkers for Latent and Active Tuberculosis" (Session A93, Sunday, May 16, 1:30- 4:00 p.m., CC-Room 260-262 (Second Level), Morial Convention Center; Abstract 4463)

Keely Savoie | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

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: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>