A rapid test for diagnosing nontuberculous mycobacteria infection

BioTechniques News
Jade Parker

A diagnostic tool has been developed to identify nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infections, dramatically expediting the diagnostic process from 6 months to 2 hours.

Regularly inhaling NTM may not be a big deal to most people, as it is quite commonly found in water, soil and dust. However, for individuals who already have a lung condition, NTM poses a greater threat as infection can lead to tuberculosis-like symptoms and long-term, inflammation-associated health issues. Due to the bacteria’s slow growth, existing diagnostics can take 6 months to produce a result. Recently, a team led by researchers at Tulane University (LA, USA) developed a novel diagnostic test that can yield results in as little as 2 hours.

NTM infections are becoming increasingly common each year, spreading from subtropical areas to temperate regions due in part to climate change. As the majority of people who come into contact with NTM don’t have an adverse reaction, the infection has been underestimated, resulting in slow diagnosis and insufficient treatment plans. By developing a rapid diagnostic test, the researchers hope to combat the rise of NTM infections globally.

mpoxA novel CRISPR-powered diagnostic test for mpox

Researchers have developed a fast, specific and reliable test for mpox infection, combining CRISPR/Cas12a and nanopore sensing.

They have created a CRISPR-based blood-testing platform that, when tested, was able to identify 93% of patients with an NTM infection. It does so by specifically detecting mycobacteria avium complex, which is one of the most common types of NTM. The test can detect NTM DNA fragments in a blood sample, analyzing the fragments to infer a drug response. Meanwhile, a traditional test for NTM infection takes months to allow for NTM to grow in culture, delaying treatment.

“Not only can our blood test provide same-day results, this test can be quickly performed in any clinics where blood can be drawn and does not require specialized training or equipment needed to analyze bacteria cultures,” shared Bo Ning, corresponding author on the study.

The authors believe that their diagnostic test could play an important role as NTM infection cases rise in the coming years. Additionally, they wish to adapt the CRISPR-based test to be able to detect other NTM strains and develop the testing apparatus further to make it a point-of-care tool.

The post A rapid test for diagnosing nontuberculous mycobacteria infection appeared first on BioTechniques.

Powered by WPeMatico

Full BioTechniques Article here