TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Assays studied for TB identification and drug resistance detection

The European Reference Laboratory Network for Tuberculosis published a study on Sunday that found rapid molecular assays to be valuable in certain circumstances for TB identification and detection of drug resistance.

The ERLN-TB found that although in some situations a rapid molecular assay may be valuable, the study does not provide sufficient information to recommend this method as a replacement for current diagnostic methods. It is meant to be a basis for the European Union and European Economic Area to consider the use of rapid molecular assays in TB control programs. The review was conducted based on papers published in systematic reviews, peer-review journals, official policy documents and guidelines.

Detecting multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis infections early provides the best chance at fighting the disease. If infection is detected late or misdiagnosed, the patient's chance of survival falls, as very few drugs are effective at fighting the disease.

The report called for new, highly accurate and rapid tools to detect active TB and drug resistance.

The assay used in the study was capable of detecting TB resistance to the most common drugs used to treat TB infections.