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New Genetic Discovery could Improve Diagnosis of Childhood TB

A distinctive genetic ‘signature’ found in the blood of children with tuberculosis (TB) offers new hope for improved diagnosis of the disease, reveals a  recently published study in the New England Journal of Medicine.



It is hoped that the findings could be used to develop cheap, quick and effective diagnostic test. The study which was conducted in Malawi, Kenya, and South Africa, showed that the disease can be identified in over 80 percent of cases by looking at 51 specific genes in the blood of affected children. By examining blood samples of children to see which genes were activated or suppressed in those with the disease, the researchers found that TB could be distinguished from other diseases.