What Is The
Motivation For Arrest-TB?
TB is the most lethal infectious disease and it is difficult to detect. TB is primarily a lung disease caused by a specific bacterium (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) with symptoms like chest pain, a bad cough, fatigue and fever among others. Although treatable certain people are at higher risk, e.g. children or those with HIV. Recent years have also seen a scary rise in cases of TB that are resistant to many of the treatment drugs.
The aim of this research project is to develop new and improved methods for identifying patients with TB and ensuring treatment is effective.
We are working on three main challenges:
- Making the existing detection approach more sensitive and suitable for direct use in clinics without the need for specialised equipment
- Detecting drug-resistant TB
- Developing a way to monitor the success of TB treatment
ARREST-TB plans to deliver low-cost, portable and easy-to-use tests for TB presence and drug-resistance.
How Is TB Detected At Present?
Sputum, or as it is also known phlegm, is a mucus coughed up from the lungs when diseased. At present the most commonly used test for TB involves collecting a sputum sample, smearing it on a glass slide and examining it in the microscope to look for the TB bacteria.
What Is Antibiotic Resistance?
Bacteria develop strategies to prevent antibiotics from killing them. This is known as antibiotic resistance and is considered to be a major threat to human health as any simple infections and standard medical procedures will become potentially deadly again without the ability to use antibiotics.