Innovative Abbott tests help in detecting tuberculosis and drug resistance

According to the World Health Organization, in 2014, there was an estimated 9.6 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB). TB is one of the leading, potentially-fatal infectious diseases caused by a bacterium known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) that commonly affects the lungs. In 2014, nearly 500,000 people developed resistance to the two most powerful, anti-TB drugs known as isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin (RIF).  These drug therapies have been used for decades to treat TB, but resistance is becoming widespread from inappropriate or incorrect use. Today, molecular tests from Abbott are available to help doctors diagnose tuberculosis and to detect resistance to INH and RIF. The first test, Abbott’s Realtime MTB (CE-marked), is designed to qualitatively detect MTB in samples from individuals suspected of having tuberculosis. The second test, the RealTime MTB RIF/INH Resistance, was recently CE-marked and is designed to identify single resistance to INH or RIF as well as resistance to both drugs. At this year’s 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health (Cape Town, South Africa), Abbott hosted a satellite symposium titled “Advancing to the Next Level of Molecular Testing for Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (MTB)”.