Urine test detects tuberculosis

Scientists from the US made the first non-invasive urine test for easier, more accurate and quick diagnosis of tuberculosis compared with the existing diagnostic methods. The test quickly detects active tuberculosis infections even in people without HIV.

Tuberculosis is one of the most common bacterial infections, with over ten million new cases and 1.7 million deaths each year worldwide. In 40% of cases, the infection is diagnosed only when its symptoms are obvious. Diagnosis today is done either by skin test or by bacterial culivation from the patient’s saliva. Both methods take days to produce results and must be done by experienced microbiologists.

The new test, which give results in 12 hours and is expected to be ready for clinical use in about three years, will make it easier to diagnose and treat the disease before it becomes fatal to patients.

Previous attempts for a urine diagnostic test have only been able to detect infections in HIV-positive patients, probably because suppression of their immune system leads to significantly elevated levels of tuberculosis bacteria in their bodies.

The researchers, led by Dr. Alesandra Lutsini, of St George University , who published the publication in the American Medical Journal “Science Translational Medicine”, found a way to detect LAM sugar in the urine, partly from abroad Tuberculosis Bacteria.

Scientists have developed microscopic molecular “cages” with a specific dye that can trap the molecules of that sugar, even when it is in a low concentration in the patient’s urine. This makes the test up to 1,000 times more accurate than existing.

Testing of the test showed that it had an accuracy of over 95% in the diagnosis of tuberculosis. In addition, depending on the test findings, it is possible to draw conclusions about how severe the infection is. Test trials will follow thousands of people and if everything goes well, in about three years it will be available.