In a Swipe of a Swab
Researchers believe a simple oral swab test could overcome the limitations of standard sputum testing methods for tuberculosis
Fedra Pavlou |
Although mortality rate has seen a big decline, pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) remains the second biggest killer from a single infectious agent: according to WHO, 9 million people fell ill with TB in 2013, 1.5 million died from it (1). While a diagnosis is usually done using microbiological, microscopic, or molecular analysis of sputum, this form of test has its challenges. Given the global burden of TB, it’s clear an alternative is needed. And researchers from the Universities of Washington, USA and Cape Town, South Africa, think they might have found it – in a test that involves using a $1 cheek swab.
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