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Undetected tuberculosis is a threat - cheap reliable diagnosis needed

19.12.2008
The EAGLES International Symposium report on Tuberculosis Research, Shenzhen, China, 5-7 November 2008 is now available.

It concludes that TB is the most important infectious disease in China. Millions of people from Asia, South America and Africa are carriers of latent TB infections.

The threat of TB outbreaks even in Europe and America costs countries 100s of millions of Euros to control every year. Yet the immediate, solvable challenge in TB is simply to diagnose the disease quickly and simply with robust, fully-tested kits.

The majority of TB patients are still diagnosed using the tools of the Victorian era - Tuberculin skin tests, sputum smears and a microscope. But the Tuberculin test is unspecific and the smear microscopy insensitive, and in rural areas in developing countries even a microscope is not always available.

Cheap, simple but more accurate techniques are needed, that can be used in primary health care settings in the developing world.TB diagnostics development needs serious investment, and ‘useless’ tests already on the market need independent testing and effective regulation. Both are direct challenges to policy-makers

Jens Degett | alfa
Further information:
http://www.efb-central.org/images/uploads/Eagles_Health_Report_picture1.pdf
http://www.efb-central.org

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