Genetic drug-sensitivity tests can predict response to tuberculosis treatment in hours


Research led by scientists at Harvard Medical School reveals that when it comes to predicting response to treatment and risk of dying, molecular tests that detect resistance to a class of TB drugs known as fluoroquinolones may be as good and even superior to traditional drug-sensitivity tests conducted in lab cultures.

Traditional drug-sensitivity tests—which involve exposing a bacterial strain to a series of drugs to determine which medications the bacterium responds to—can take up to eight weeks to yield results. By comparison, point-of-care molecular tests provide results within hours, expediting treatment decisions.

“Our results should provide reassuring evidence that molecular tests, which are faster in detecting resistance mutations, are just as reliable, if not better, in predicting overall treatment outcome” [study lead investigator Maha Farhat, assistant professor of biomedical informatics at Harvard Medical School said]

Carole Mitnick, study senior investigator and associate professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School [said] “Our findings also affirm the importance that patients with fluoroquinolone-resistant TB—whether it’s detected by molecular or culture-based tests—need drug regimens that reflect that diagnosis.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: TB: Genetic drug resistance tests as good in gauging treatment outcome, death risk as culture-based tests