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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2011 Mar;9(3):204-13. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2521.

Towards a point-of-care test for active tuberculosis: obstacles and opportunities.

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Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK.


Limited access to diagnostic services and the poor performance of current tests result in a failure to detect millions of tuberculosis cases each year. An accurate test that could be used at the point of care to allow faster initiation of treatment would decrease death rates and could reduce disease transmission. Previous attempts to develop such a test have failed, and success will require the marriage of biomarkers that are highly predictive for the disease with innovative technology that is reliable and affordable. Here, we review the status of research into point-of-care tests for active tuberculosis and discuss barriers to the development of such diagnostic tests.

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