Hyderabad: A DNA test which will give a detailed analysis of every single mutation present in all tuberculosis bacteria has been developed, which will enable quick and accurate treatment with the most effective drug.
The test, called Spit Seq, developed by a private company, has been validated on 100 samples in India, with 100 per cent sensitivity, and 98.04 per cent sensitivity in specific cases of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. This is the first DNA test which has shown promise in identifying TB bacteria quickly.
The test is based on whole genome sequencing of mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium which causes tuberculosis. The test helps to assess the mutations in the bacterium’s genome and allows clinicians to determine which drugs will work for the patient.
Dr Subakar Kandi, senior pulmonologist and professor at Osmania Medical College, said, “The process of analysing drug resistance is very long. Testing resistance is found for only four drugs. Hence, the patient has to wait till testing on all possible drugs is concluded. Repeated testing is found to lead to multiple changes in the course of the treatment. It is important that the tuberculosis medicine regime course be completed.”
Due to delayed diagnosis, dealing with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is a Herculean task. There are an estimated 2.8 million cases of tuberculosis in India. There are 1.50 lakh multi-drug resistant tuberculosis patients in India....