November 25th, 2008

Coming Soon: A Great Advance in TB Diagnostics

An all-too-frequent problem in the ID clinical world is the case where tuberculosis is possibly the diagnosis, but confirming it is difficult, or impossible.

Now, in a scientific breakthrough of such magnitude that it warranted front page coverage in our local newspaper, I am pleased to report that we may have a solution: giant rats.

Yes, giant rats. In a pilot program in Daar es Salaam, rats evaluate saliva samples at a rate of 40 every 10 minutes, signaling with “unmistakable paw motions” when they detect a sputum infected with TB. 

And here’s a bonus — they can also sniff out land mines, in case you happen to need that service too.

No doubt these critters will be showing up in our microbiology labs any day now.  I can’t wait to read the OSHA regulations for their protection.

One Response to “Coming Soon: A Great Advance in TB Diagnostics”

  1. hty says:

    Good site!

HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

Biography | Disclosures | Summaries

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