A series of promising innovative projects

TB in Tidbits - February 2021

Light that wall up!

Each year, about 10 million people develop tuberculosis and about 3 million go undetected. Mireille Kamariza’s invention — a portable diagnostic tool — could help identify more cases faster, anywhere in the world, to prevent further spread, get treatment to those in need, and even monitor the effectiveness of that treatment. She designed a molecule that embeds into that wall and lights up — researchers only need a microscope and a reagent to see that tuberculosis is present and alive. Since her molecule ignores dead tuberculosis cells, the test can tell researchers far more about the bacteria’s reaction to certain environments and treatments. Over time, they can monitor a patient’s blood to see whether a drug kills the bacteria, and how quickly. Since results come back within a couple of hours, as opposed to the month and a half that current tests require, the tool could detect and track cases and treatments far more effectively.

Read the full story: A low-cost test to detect TB


WOW! (Wellness on Wheels)

In a bit to step up the fight against TB in Cross River State in Nigeria, the State Governor Sen Prof Ben Ayade Represented by the Honorable Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu has today launched the *Wellness on Wheels (WOW)* an innovation supported by USAID through KNCV in the diagnosis of Tuberculosis. The Truck which contains an X-ray Machine with CAT system which can give you a presumptive case in 3 mins, also have GeneXpert machines that can confirm the diagnosis in 2hrs. By this innovation TB diagnosis and treatment will be brought to doorsteps even in rural communities. People don’t need to go to the hospitals/laboratories to get tested, they will be tested in their community and village.

Read the full story: Fight against Tuberculosis in Cross River, Nigeria goes Digital



New innovations spark hope

Vaccines

Genexine said Friday that it would start developing GX-170, a next-generation DNA vaccine preventing tuberculosis, in joint efforts with Yonsei University. Korea is most vulnerable to tuberculosis among OECD countries, with about 2,200 deaths from tuberculosis a year. The government recommends Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccines for all newborns. There are no preventative injections for adults, either, other than BCG.

“We expect GX-170, a DNA-based vaccine, will replace BCG, as its animal testing confirmed its prevention efficacy,” a Genexine official said. “DNA vaccines are the most effective vaccine platform for preventing tuberculosis, and GX-170 can be used either alone or as a booster for existing BCG vaccines.”

Read the full story: Genexine, Yonsei U to co-develop new DNA vaccine against tuberculosis

Treatments

The research team of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Toyohashi University of Technology and the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine have proposed a new drug to treat tuberculosis (TB), utilizing state-of-the-art molecular simulations. This drug may inhibit the cell division of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) and suppress its growth. In addition, because this drug acts on the enzymes secreted by M. tuberculosis instead of acting on M. tuberculosis itself, M. tuberculosis has very little chance of mutation and develops no drug resistance. Therefore, it is expected that this drug will lead to a novel drug that will keep its effectiveness for a long time.

Read the full story: Proposing a new drug to treat tuberculosis utilizing state-of-the-art computer simulations

Diagnostics

In order to solve one of the most recurrent health problems in Peru, a team of national scientists has been developing a kit for rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis, as well as of its resistance to various drugs, using the Microscopic Observation Drug Susceptibility (MODS) test. This technology seeks to facilitate the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis using a liquid culture kit in the standard MODS test. For this presentation, transport conditions have been improved to avoid low temperatures and the dispensing of antibiotics has been simplified. These features will make the diagnosis of tuberculosis accessible to more people since the process will be simplified and the cost will be reduced given that the kit can be stored at room temperature.

Read the full story: Peruvian scientists develop rapid diagnostic kit for tuberculosis

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