Faster screening test to identify tuberculosis

March 3, 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: The prevalence and drug sensitivity of tuberculosis among patients dying in hospital in South Africa

Related Stories

Enzyme discovery may lead to better tests for tuberculosis

January 8, 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 ...

Recommended for you

Brazilian wasp venom kills cancer cells by opening them up

September 1, 2015

The social wasp Polybia paulista protects itself against predators by producing venom known to contain a powerful cancer-fighting ingredient. A Biophysical Journal study published September 1 reveals exactly how the venom's ...

Water heals a bioplastic

September 1, 2015

A drop of water self-heals a multiphase polymer derived from the genetic code of squid ring teeth, which may someday extend the life of medical implants, fiber-optic cables and other hard to repair in place objects, according ...

Naturally-occurring protein enables slower-melting ice cream

August 31, 2015

(Phys.org)—Scientists have developed a slower-melting ice cream—consider the advantages the next time a hot summer day turns your child's cone with its dream-like mound of orange, vanilla and lemon swirls with chocolate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.