Tuberculosis identified by simple blood tests and no other additional procedures might prove to be a life-savior for many of us. The new method might be able to accurately identify TB while being easy and cheap at the same time. This is exceptionally good news for those who live in under-developed countries and thus do not have access to more complex means of testing.
The new method was discovered by researchers from the Stanford University and it involves a special blood test for finding tracks of tuberculosis. Up until now, people also had to give samples of sputum and respiratory secretions in order to correctly identify the disease. Unfortunately, as patients start recovering it becomes more difficult to acquire these specific samples and thus doctors cannot be 100% sure the treatment is working.
The new method no longer requires sputum or secretion samples, but only blood tests. Named the Khatri test, the technique might also prove to be the most effective one. Lead researcher Purvesh Khatri believes that his test has the ability of assessing the effectiveness of the tuberculosis treatments. Therefore, doctors will be informed both of the status of the patient and the progress of the medication. So how does this blood test work?
The method is set to detect three human genes which can show if there is any active tuberculosis infection. In order to arrive to this conclusion, researchers have analyzed those genes and separated them from eleven data sets containing more than 1,400 samples.
The results showed that the new Khatry blood test is 86% accurate for children, but it works just as well on adults. Additionally, the new test has 99% capability of informing doctors when the infection of the patient is no longer present in his body. The low chances of errors truly make the Khatri blood test unique. Researchers expect it to save the lives of many.
Furthermore, the tuberculosis detection technique is sure to produce no false positives for the people who present an inactive infection with tuberculosis. This stays the same for the people who have been immunized with vaccines. Another extraordinary particularity of the Khatri blood test is that it can detect tuberculosis even within humans infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).
Lastly, this inexpensive method will become essential in hospitals that have few resources and are situated in under-developed countries. Tuberculosis identified by simple blood tests is truly a great step towards the early identification of the disease.
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