AIIMS re­searchers de­sign sen­si­tive test for pul­monary, pleu­ral TB

BioSpectrum (India) - - SCIENCE NEWS -

A team of re­searchers from the De­part­ment of Biotech­nol­ogy at the All In­dia In­sti­tutes of Med­i­cal Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi has de­vel­oped a highly sen­si­tive di­ag­nos­tic test for pul­monary and pleu­ral tu­ber­cu­lo­sis (TB). The di­ag­nos­tic test makes use of a DNA ap­tamer (a small sin­gle-stranded DNA mol­e­cule that binds to a spe­cific tar­get mol­e­cule) that shows high bind­ing affin­ity to a TB anti­gen. The lab­o­ra­tory-based ap­tamer test for di­ag­nos­ing pul­monary TB takes about five hours to turn in the re­sults while the por­ta­ble, rapid test takes just 30 min­utes. Also, the por­ta­ble test is cheaper and can be used for screen­ing pul­monary TB and ac­tive case find­ing in high-risk groups.The re­search team has ap­plied for a patent for the ap­tamer reagent and has li­censed it to Ap­taBharat In­no­va­tion Pvt Ltd, a startup at the Trans­la­tional Health Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy In­sti­tute (THSTI), Farid­abad. The team soon plans to val­i­date the tests on well char­ac­terised panel of spec­i­mens and field eval­u­a­tion.

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