Faster screening test to identify tuberculosis

Mar 03, 2014 by Shawn Eyre
Faster screening test to identify tuberculosis
Figure. Nanotrap. (a) The antigens, CFP-10, secreted by M. tuberculosis were isolated by the well-engineered nanoporous thin film (b) The abundant proteins (green) in complex biological fluids were washed away. CFP-10 (orange) left inside the nanopores were cleaved by enzyme and then detected with mass spectrometry.

With 9 million new cases and 2 million deaths annually, Tuberculosis is the second most prevalent and deadliest infectious disease worldwide. As an airborne disease, it spreads easily and is very contagious. Quick detection and identification is the key to success in preventing the spread of the disease.

Conventional tuberculosis screenings suffer from low sensitivity, specificity, and high-cost. The gold standard for the diagnosis of still relies on time-consuming culture tests that take 10 to 40 days to complete the screening process.

Recent nanopore research by Assistant Professor Hung-Jen Wu of the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, along with the Houston Methodist Research Institute, has led to a new screening tool that quickly identifies the M. tuberculosis antigen, CFP-10.

"CFP-10 is an antigen secreted by the M. tuberculosis bacteria," says Wu. "Its rod shape allows us to use various types of nanopore thin films to very easily and quickly, isolate and identify the strand using a mass spectrometer."

Wu has engineered the nanopore size, structure, and surface properties to isolate up to 90% of CFP-10 in biological samples. The whole screening process takes about nine hours including incubation time. This overall approach offers hope not only for speeding up diagnosis of active tuberculosis but also for future screening of other .

Explore further: Major South African trial did not improve tuberculosis control in gold mines

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Enzyme discovery may lead to better tests for tuberculosis

Jan 08, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health have identified an enzyme that will trigger the rapid breakdown of several mycobacteria species, including the bacteria known ...

FDA approves first new tuberculosis in 40 years

Dec 31, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved a Johnson & Johnson tuberculosis drug that is the first new medicine to fight the deadly infection in more than four decades.

Key to tuberculosis cure could lie underwater

Mar 08, 2013

The search for a cure for deadly infectious diseases has led Brian Murphy deep underwater. Murphy, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is collecting actinomycete ...

Potential new drug for tuberculosis

Aug 05, 2013

A new drug capable of inhibiting growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is reported this week in Nature Medicine. The findings may improve therapeutic options for the treatment of drug resistant tuberculosis (TB). ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0