Oxford Immunotec to provide TB testing for immigrants to England
NHS awarded the immunology test developer funding to perform testing from the Oxford Diagnostic Laboratory in the U.K. using its T-SPOT.TB test. Oxford Immunotec's test works by measuring T cells that have been specifically activated by Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens. This allows for the diagnosis of the active disease and latent TB infection.
"In much of the developed world, the majority of TB cases arise from recent immigrants carrying a latent infection that reactivates after arrival," Oxford Immunotec CEO Peter Wrighton-Smith said. "The U.K. is leading the world in starting a national program to screen high-risk immigrants. We are proud to be at the forefront of this important new initiative, which could have significant policy implications for TB control in both the U.K. and for other developed world countries.”
Oxford Immunotec will test people, ranging in age from 16 to 35, who are from countries with a high incidence of latent TB and have recently settled in England. In addition to TB testing, Oxford will also offer TB control boards administrative, logistical and educational support.