May 17, 2012Science and Technology
Tiny tool could have a big role in TB fight

A tiny filter could have a big impact against tuberculosis (TB). Using the traditional microscope-based diagnosis method as a starting point, a University of Florida lung disease specialist and Brazillian colleagues devised a way to detect more cases of the bacterial infection. In the new technique, sputum samples are treated with bleach and other simple chemicals, then vacuum filtered to trap bacteria.  The new technique could dramatically improve TB diagnoses globally, particularly in settings where the disease is common and resources are limited. It is especially useful when the presence of only a small number of bacteria in the test sample makes it hard to detect TB. The researchers are refining the technique in hopes of developing a cost-effective product that can be used globally.

Relevant Locations: Gainesville, FL, USA
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