Hyderabad: In order to address lack of accurate diagnostic tests for Tuberculosis, especially drug resistant TB, global health initiative Unitaid on Thursday announced the launch of New Generation Sequencing (NGS) diagnostic kits to enable quick diagnosis of TB cases in India.
Announcing the launch of the project in lung health conference, Director of Operations, Unitaid, Robert Matiru said the initiative is a rapid cost effective way to identify drug resistant TB cases. NGS refers to rapid sequencing of the human DNA for mutations and can be used for detection of mutations associated with drug resistance in TB. “The present culture-based testing techniques to diagnose TB are slow. NGS are rapid and they can diagnose in TB in just a few days,” officials said.
Succesful XDR-TB trial comes to India
A hugely successful trial on extensively drug resistant TB (XDR-TB) patients in South Africa, which employed combination of 3 TB drugs, could hold key in treating similar Indian patients. Principal Investigator of the South African trial, Dr Francesca Conradie during lung health conference in Hyderabad, said India must introduce such trial as early as possible.
Dubbed as NIXB-Trial in South Africa, the study used three drugs Bedaquiline, Pretomanid and Linezolid. “Nine out of 10 patients in our trial were cured completely. Moreover, usually it takes 18 months and each patient takes at least 23 tablets per day. Our patients were given 23 tablets in a week and they were cured in six months,” she said.