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New Tuberculosis Blood Test In Children Is Reliable, Study Finds

Update Date: Sep 01, 2014 09:58 AM EDT

A new blood test is a fast and accurate tool to diagnose tuberculosis in children, according to a new proof-of-concept study. The newly developed test, dubbed TAM-TB assay, is a first reliable immunodiagnostic assay to detect active tuberculosis in children. 

The findings of the study could prove to be a major advance for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in children, particularly in tuberculosis-endemic regions. 

The new TAM-TB assay is a sputum-independent blood test which makes use of an immunological phenomenon during tuberculosis disease. 

"This rapid and reliable test has the great potential to significantly improve the diagnosis of active tuberculosis in children " says TB CHILD Program Manager Klaus Reither from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), who coordinated the study, according to the press release.

The newly developed test was assessed in tuberculosis endemic regions in Tanzania at the Ifakara Health Institute and the NIMR Mbeya Medical Research Center. 

In a collaborative effort between Swiss TPH and Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich), the test will now be further refined to optimize performance, particularly in HIV-infected children, and to reduce costs, the press release added. 

The study is published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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