Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB (short for tubercle bacillus) is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active MTB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit their saliva through the air.
  • WHAT: A molecular test designed to easily diagnose tuberculosis (TB) and detect a drug-resistant form of the bacterium that causes TB can provide much more specific, sensitive and rapid results than currently available TB diagnostics, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. In a test involving 1,730 patients with suspected drug-sensitive or multidrug-resistant pulmonary TB, the Xpert MTB/RIF TB test successfully identified 98 percent of all confirmed TB cases and 98 percent of patients with rifampin-resistant bacteria in less than two hours.
  • It may soon be possible to identify patients who will develop tuberculosis, as scientists have identified changes in the blood specific to the disease. These findings are from an international study published in the August 19 issue of Nature and conducted by doctors and researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital using blood profiling techniques to understand infections.
  • Scientists have identified a genetic variant which increases susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB) in African populations using a technique known as a genome-wide association (GWA) study. This is the first novel disease variant to be identified using this technique in Africans and demonstrates that such studies are viable in African populations, which have a high degree of genetic diversity.
  • A compact microscope invented at Rice University is proving its potential to impact global health.
  • Often causing no symptoms in carriers of the disease, worldwide tuberculosis (TB) infects eight to ten million people every year, kills two million, and it is highly contagious as it is spread through coughing and sneezing. "It's a global health disaster waiting to happen, even here in Canada, but this new paradigm in TB research may offer an immediate opportunity to improve vaccination and treatment initiatives," explains Dr. Maziar Divangahi of McGill University and of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.
  • Sequella, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing drugs for treatment of life-threatening infectious diseases, announced today the publication of studies in the scientific journalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy on synergy between SQ109, its lead drug candidate for the treatment of TB, and TMC207, Tibotec lead TB drug candidate:
  • A new vaccine, which can replace the age-old existing vaccine, to prevent tuberculosis (TB) is at least 10 years away, experts have said.
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