Peruvian scientists develop rapid diagnostic kit for tuberculosis

Photo: ANDINA/Diffusion

Photo: ANDINA/Diffusion

00:00 | Lima, Jan. 8.

In order to solve one of the most recurrent health problems in Peru, a team of national scientists has been developing a kit for rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis, as well as of its resistance to various drugs, using the Microscopic Observation Drug Susceptibility (MODS) test.

The project was carried out by experts from Cayetano Heredia University (UPCH), with the support of the National Council for Science and Technological Innovation (Concytec) and the World Bank.

A dangerous and contagious disease

According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), tuberculosis (TB) is the leading infectious cause of death in the world.

Peru has 14% of tuberculosis cases in the Americas, with 1,457 of them being multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and 121 extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis.

These types of TB refer to cases in which the disease has mutated to become resistant to first-line medications or drugs, as well as to the set of medicines usually used to fight it.

In the face of the epidemiological situation, this technology seeks to facilitate the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis using a liquid culture kit in the standard MODS test.

An improved kit

For this presentation, transport conditions have been improved since the elements have been dehydrated to avoid low temperatures.

In addition, the dispensing of antibiotics has been simplified, using new materials that are permeable to gas but impervious to liquids in order to achieve oxygen exchange without risk of contamination.

According to the scientists, these features will make the diagnosis of tuberculosis accessible to more people, since the process will be simplified and the cost will be reduced given that the kit can be stored at room temperature.


Published: 1/8/2021