Cape Town - The University of Cape Town (UCT), in partnership with Antrum Biotech, have developed a new rapid test that is able to diagnose TB meningitis – a major cause of death in Southern Africa – within two hours.
The test is currently undergoing validation to enter the global market.
Until now, diagnostic tests have not been as quick or as sensitive as they need to be. Finding a sensitive, rapid test for TB meningitis has been elusive, but thanks to BioFISA II funding and researchers at Antrum Biotech, one has been developed.
Professor Keertan Dheda, the director of the Centre for Lung Infection and Immunity at UCT, says: “Detection under the microscope only works 5% of the time. Smear microscopy is a very poor test.
“Another existing test for TB meningitis involves growing the bug in the lab in a culture, and there are problems with that too.”