I’m a little slow off the mark here but wanted to note the new “TB testing machine,” as the ONE blog called it, and why the world needs a better tuberculosis test.
Yesterday, the World Health Organization “endorsed” and heralded as a “major milestone” a new DNA fingerprinting machine called XpertMTB/RIF, developed by the biotech firm Cepheid with support funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the NIH. A Gates funded non-profit organization called FIND, Foundation for Innovative and New Diagnostics, helped Cepheid develop the test.
Given all the hoopla about this being a major advance in the fight against global TB, I hesitate to ask if this approach will really work for the people who need it most — those living in poor communities where hospitals don’t have enough money to give nurses masks, let alone drugs or state-of-art diagnostics.
For poor countries, this high-tech TB test sounds pretty expensive. Continue reading