MDR-TB: New machine to give test results in 2 hours

 A state-of-the-art equipment that can give test results within two hours is on its way to B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital.The machine, GeneXpert, conducts molecular diagnostic tests to give results in two hours, experts revealed. This is in contract to months the old method of growing sample cultures takes. The lab is being upgraded for the machine.Dr Ajay Chandanwale, Dean, B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, when contacted, said they will soon get the machine to help diagnose and detect MDR-TB faster.According to experts at the college, the fight against TB has advanced these days. Apart from newer drugs and vaccines in the pipeline, GeneXpert is among new diagnostic tools that revolutionises treatment. Tests will be quicker, researchers at the college said.In Pune, 35 patients have been detected with MDR-TB in the last three months. While the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) accredited laboratory at Aundh has started performing tests for samples from Pune and Nashik , Sassoon General Hospital, too, has been receiving a sizeable load of patients and sputum samples of late.Presently a Line Probe Assay test is used to diagnose a single MDR sample and it takes nearly two days for the result. The older method of liquid culture takes two months and solid culture four months. According to Dr Renu Bharadwaj, Head of the Department of Microbiology, B J Medical College (BJMC), detecting TB early is crucial for treatment. An MDR-TB patient can infect 15 people a year if untreated, the researchers said. RNTCP estimates, say around 3 per cent of new cases and 12-17 per cent of re-infected patients coming for treatment are MDR-TB cases.

Source :      2012/6/12

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