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Tuberculosis Blood Test - A new and reliable method for the diagnosis of tuberculosis

26.01.2012
Tuberculosis (TB) is a common infectious disease with a high morbidity and mortality. The absolute number of people suffering from TB each year is still increasing.

Caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, only about 10% of the people infected ever develop active TB. Since transmission occurs from people with the active disease these people need to be isolated and treated effectively to break the chain of transmission. The complex and not well understood immune response results in symptoms that are easily blamed on other infections. An easy, reliable and inexpensive test for the diagnosis of tuberculosis is still required.

Scientists from the University of Bonn developed a new blood test for the molecular diagnosis of tuberculosis. This test is based on a blood-derived transcriptional signature that is suitable to distinguish patients with active TB from other individuals. With an “RNA-fingerprint”, an analysis of the different indicator RNAs - showing a decreased or increased expression rate as indication for TB - can be conducted.

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