Tuberculosis

   World’s Top Infectious Killer

Overview

What is Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis (TB) is the world’s top infectious killer infecting 10 million people every year and is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB is spread through the air when a person with lung TB cough, sneeze, or spit, propelling the TB bacteria into the air. 

Every year people are infected with TB, with 1.5 million deaths worldwide. Globally, TB is one of the top causes of death and the leading cause from a single infectious agent (above HIV/AIDS). 

Who is at risk?

Tuberculosis primarily affects adults, but all age groups are at risk, with over 95% of cases and deaths in developing countries.

People with a compromised immune system, including people living with HIV, malnutrition, or diabetes, or people who use tobacco, have a higher risk of falling ill with TB. 

Symptoms

Man Coughing

Cough

Sputum with blood

Cough with blood

Man with chest pain

Chest pain

night sweats

Night sweats

Man with fever

Fever

Man Weight Loss

Weight Loss

Treatment and Challenges

Treatment

TB is a treatable and curable disease with a six-month course of antibiotics provided to the patient with information, supervision, and support by a health worker or trained volunteer. Recent treatment options have shortened the duration to treat TB to only one or three months.

Common drugs include rifampicin and isoniazid. In some cases, the patient has drug-resistant TB, which requires prolonged treatment.

Challenges

Tuberculosis disease testing is critical for better diagnosis and treatment. Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) poses a staggering threat to global public health. At least 75% to 80% of DR-TB is primarily airborne transmitted from person to person. Globally, we face a situation in which multidrug-resistant (MDR-TB) and extensively resistant (XDR-TB) is spreading virtually undetected via airborne transmission, threatening any progress made to reduce TB.

The widespread transmission will result in a significant loss of life and have global economic impacts. Despite international efforts, the WHO End TB Strategy will not meet any of the 2020 goals set for incidence, death, or cost. Further exacerbating this problem is the current COVID-19 global pandemic.

The WHO estimates that a decline in available healthcare resources in many countries has resulted in 25-30% fewer TB cases being diagnosed and treated, which could result in an additional 0.2 to 0.4 million deaths. A decline in diagnoses at a time when milestone targets are not being met is not only jeopardizing the WHO eradication strategy but may result in an unstoppable epidemic.

Solution

TB represents a threat worldwide and the need for an inexpensive, rapid, and widespread DR-TB diagnosis, especially in low-income and remote settings. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of rapid diagnostic tests as the initial diagnostic test in all persons with signs and symptoms of TB to the early detection of TB. 

Our product is designed to meet or exceed the WHO target product profile for a community-based triage test and meet the WHO ASSURED (Affordable, Sensitive, Specific, User-friendly, Rapid and robust, Equipment-free, and Deliverable to end-users) criteria for diagnostics used in resource-constrained settings.

Our solution is to provide a diagnostic test that does not require processing or sample pre-treatment steps with results within 10 minutes, allowing to treat the patient before leaving the clinic.

Learn more about the REFtb test

Our diagnostic test requires little or no technical expertise. All procedures can be carried out at room temperature, with a broad functional temperature range.