UW researchers develop oral swab for TB testing

Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle have developed a new approach that may help diagnose tuberculosis using oral swabs.

The oral swab approach — which was inspired by veterinary medicine — allows clinicians to obtain a sputum sample from a patient and detect the disease much more easily than other approaches.

Sputum is the mucus coughed up from the lungs that helps physicians detect TB. Detecting the disease sooner will not only allow physicians to make diagnoses more easily, diagnosing will also be cheaper.

Taking sputum samples is also far more accurate than testing blood urine or exhaled breath for TB and requires minimal training as opposed to the specialized certification required to safely obtain blood or urine samples.

Despite the promising UW findings, additional research is required to test the oral swab approach in a large-scale controlled study.



More articles on TB:
Weill Cornell Medical College receives NIH grant to study tuberculosis epidemic
Providence Memorial pays $263k for TB exposure support
CMS extends TB exposure compliance deadline for Providence Memorial in El Paso

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