|Mycobacterium Tuberculosis |
New Method To DiagnoseResearchers have now developed a new approach to the diagnosis of tuberculosis, reported in PeerJ. The method relies on sequencing of DNA extracted from sputum to detect and characterize the Mycobacterium Tuberculosis that cause TB, without the need for time-consuming culture of bacteria in the laboratory.
The team detected sequences from the TB bacteria in all eight sputum samples they investigated and were able to assign the bacteria to a known lineage in seven of the samples. Two samples were found to contain sequences from Mycobacterium africanum, a variety of the TB bacterium that is particular to West Africa.
The research team aim to test the technique on a variety of samples, and hope that it will help detect mixed infections caused by more than one kind of bacterium. However, it is still some time before it can be used as a routine diagnostic tool.