Science and Technology
publicado em 13/04/2012 às 17h46:00
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Developed faster and cheaper test to diagnose tuberculosis

Nanotechnology-based system enables molecular diagnosis and identifies the presence of disease and resistance patterns

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Researchers in Portugal are reporting development of faster and cheaper test for the diagnosis of tuberculosis. The project was developed by scientists. Pedro Viana Baptista, Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology of Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL), and Miguel Viveiros, Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine from the same institution.

The team found a system capable of detecting the causative agent of tuberculosis and the mutations most often involved in antibiotic resistance. "Within the problems of the disease, a major factor is the identification of combating infection, for diagnostic techniques available are too expensive or time consuming, moreover most of the concentrates of tuberculosis in countries without resources. In addition, the disease has developed resistance mechanisms that hinder their detection even more, "says Baptista.

In the study, titled "Nano TB nanodiagnostics XDRT is at the point-of-need", the researchers used

Nanotechnology a system for making a molecular diagnosis and identification of the presence or not of the body and has resistance pattern. "We used gold nanoparticles that are stable and have a ruby ​​red color when they detect the presence of DNA of the microorganism that causes tuberculosis and sequences associated with resistance to antibiotics," explains the researcher.

In the absence of micro nanoparticles are not stable and acquire a blue color.

Because they are required only small amounts of nanoparticles can reduce the cost of the new diagnostic tool, taking into account only the calculation of direct cost, the technique is ten times cheaper than those currently available.

The researchers note that the detection model is already in operation and validation phase. The expectation is that staff in some months the test is available in regions where they are the population most affected by the disease. "The test can be used in a decentralized manner, in hospitals, independent of all technologies," said Baptista, comparing the new diagnostic pregnancy tests that can be bought in pharmacies.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), tuberculosis remains one of the most serious infectious diseases globally, with about 1.1 million deaths and 8.8 million new cases in 2010.

   Palavras-chave:   Test    Test faster    Cheaper test    Diagnosis    Disease    Tuberculosis    Nanotechnology   
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