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TB Diagnostic Technology Advances But Unattainable In Low-Income Settings

New York Times: Advancing TB Test Technology, Where It Matters Most
Jens Erik Gould, correspondent

“…Hailed as the most significant advance in TB research in decades, [an] automated molecular technology called GeneXpert is more accurate and yields much faster results than traditional diagnosis methods, like smear microscopy, a basic test invented a century ago. … The problem is that not everyone has access to it. Not long after the rollout, health care workers began realizing that GeneXpert wasn’t designed for the people who needed it most: the poor in the developing world. … The overwhelming excitement about GeneXpert among health officials and the substantial investments made by donors quelled doubts that there was demand for new TB technology and that it could be profitable. As a result, more companies have entered the TB market and are competing to develop diagnostic technologies that would provide the benefits of GeneXpert, without the drawbacks…” (6/12).