Imperial College London has received a £4.9 ($8.6) million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a simple, affordable and rapid test to measure the health of the immune system in HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries.
The ‘CD4 Initiative’ will develop an easy to use device which can measure CD4+ T-lymphocytes in HIV+ patients. The CD4 cell count measures the number of these critical disease-fighting cells in the blood, a figure which health care workers need in order to make key clinical decisions in managing HIV disease, such as when to begin or to switch antiretroviral therapy.
Current technologies for measuring CD4 counts are expensive to buy and maintain, and require a level of infrastructure and training which is often not available in many developing countries. The CD4 Initiative will develop new tests that are more appropriate for these countries based on specifications developed with health care workers in hospitals and clinics in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world.
Tony Stephenson | alfa
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