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Genetic discovery could lead to new ways to test for TB

Last Update 06/04/2021

Researchers have made a discovery in the genetics of children with tuberculosis that could pave the way for a new test for the disease.


Researchers have made a discovery in the genetics of children with tuberculosis (TB) that could pave the way for a new test for the disease.

In the study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers assessed over 2,800 children from Malawi, Kenya and South Africa who had been hospitalised with TB symptoms.

Analysis of blood samples from the South African and Malawian children pointed them towards 51 different genes that play an important role in those with the condition. The researchers then studied this set of genes in the Kenyan children, and were able to accurately diagnose over 80% of those with TB.

The researchers believe that this discovery could lead to a new “simple, rapid and affordable” way of screening for TB.

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Read the research paper

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