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UTH Embarks on New TB Diagnostic Method

The University Teaching Hospital (UTH) has embarked on a project of evaluating new and practical tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic methods using a loop-medicated isothermal amplification (LAMP) which is said to be rapid, cost effective and simple does not require sophisticated equipment compared to the conventional method currently being used.

The main objective of the study is to establish a new diagnostic method based on the LAMP using sputum and urine for the direct detection and differentiation of Mycrobacteria in clinic samples. UTH TB laboratory technician Charity Habeenzu said during the second scientific meeting for HIV/AIDS and TB diagnosis by LAMP at UTH last week that the new diagnostic method could also be used on various fields such as tumor detection and other bacteria.

Ms Habeenzu said the LAMP method currently at the learning stage in the UTH TB laboratory should be improved.

She said the LAMP method would only take a day to diagnose TB compared to conventional method, which take about three weeks and it is user friendly as it could be performed in a simple laboratory.

And UTH Head of Pathology and Microbiology Victor Mudenda in his closing remarks at the same function said the LAMP method would assist in quick TB diagnosis and treatment thereby reducing on the number of cases.

Dr Mudenda said the hospital was looking for such early and cheaper diagnosis because many people were still dying from TB. “LAMP would help answer many of the questions raised on how to reduce the TB burden in Zambia,” he said.

The new method would assist in preventing others from getting infected as it would provide for quick TB diagnosis. He called on the young scientists to be part of such important research in future that aims at enhancing good health in the country.

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