WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

New quick paper-based TB test found

Researchers from Taiwan announced on October 3 a study that found a quick, paper-based diagnostic test able to detect tuberculosis.

The simple, color-based diagnostic test is done by using gold nanoparticles and microfluidic paper-based analytical devices. Using this method, the scientists are able to achieve rapid results without the need for complex, and even more importantly, time-consuming laboratory processes. The test was shown to be able to easily detect TB mycobacterium target sequences, with the turnaround time being around one hour after the human DNA was extracted from the subject.

The technology, however, is still being optimized. The authors of the paper contend that this new test will be affordable, sensitive, specific, user-friendly, rapid, robust, equipment-free, and highly end-user-deliverable as a diagnostic system.

Tuberculosis is a common infectious disease that is caused by various strains of mycobacteria. It usually attacks the lungs, but it also known to attack other parts of the body.

TB is spread by coughing and sneezing and is considered highly contagious. The WHO reports that there were 8.7 million new cases of TB in 2011 and 1.4 million deaths.

The study was published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.