New, less invasive, more accurate TB test - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 12-25-2005, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thought I would post this as a new thread.

Those in professions where TB testing is required/pushed, esp. those opposed to submitting to the injection of biologicals/chemicals into their body, might be interested.

Wondering how long it will take for this to make it to the US/be more widely available and accepted. (if anyone has any more recent info on this, I would be interested!)
While still invasive, a blood draw is MUCH less invasive than a subcutaneous injection OR a chest x-ray!

Lilith

http://www.abc.net.au/am/stories/s317555.htm

New TB test
Saturday, 23 June , 2001 00:00:00
Reporter: Edmond Roy
CAMILLE FUNNELL: Scientists in Britain have developed a blood test to identify tuberculosis in its earlier stages before any symptoms of the disease become apparent.

The current test for the disease now used in Australia is more than a hundred years old and is considered unreliable because it can give false positive results in people who have been given an anti-TB vaccine.

Edmond Roy reports, while a new test has been developed, it will take at least three years before it's widely available to the public.

http://www.bioportfolio.com/news/Oxford_Immunotec_1.htm

“Oxford Immunotec launches revolutionary T SPOT-TB blood test

12th August 2004. …a revolutionary new blood test, T SPOT-TB, has been approved for use in Europe and gives real hope that the tide can be turned in the fight against the disease.

Oxford Immunotec's new test is set to replace the century old tuberculin skin test, the oldest diagnostic test still in use today. The launch of T SPOT-TB is a key milestone in mankind's fight against this ancient disease and will bring TB care out of the Victorian era and into the 21st century.

T SPOT-TB enables doctors to reliably screen people who have been in contact with a TB sufferer, allowing those who have been infected to be identified and treated long before they actually develop the disease and become infectious to others.1,2 It provides an accurate and effective tool for controlling the spread of TB.3

The T SPOT-TB blood test is easy, rapid and accurate. Crucially, it is the first test that reliably detects infection in people with weak immune systems,4 including new-born babies,5 people with HIV6 and transplant patients, precisely the people who are most vulnerable to developing full-blown TB.

T SPOT-TB represents a dramatic improvement on the existing skin test, which is crude and unreliable. The skin test is prone to both false-positive and false-negative results and previous BCG vaccination makes it inconsistent. It is also inconvenient, taking 3 to 7 days before it can be read, and it can cause painful blistering and scarring of the skin."
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#2 of 8 Old 12-27-2005, 12:27 AM
 
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Thanks -I saw this in my local paper & kept it so I would know the name of the test .

I hope it becomes available before my next TB test is due in Feb.

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#3 of 8 Old 12-27-2005, 12:28 AM
 
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Just read it all-3 years!!

well maybe it will be fast tracked

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#4 of 8 Old 12-27-2005, 01:21 AM
 
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I have a question regarding false positives... Back in 2000 I was planning to be a nanny so I had to get a TB test. They did the under-the-skin injection (as opposed to the tines I remember from when I was little) and I had an immediate reaction - when I left the doctor's office my arm was spotted red and by that evening I had a huge, hot, red lump in my arm. It was obviously positive. And awful.

I decided that my chances of coming down with TB were so incredibly slim that I opted against the antibiotics.

But I wondered about the positive test. The last shot I had was a tetanus booster in high schoo (probably 15 years prior) and I had a reaction to that (same arm as the TB test).

Because it was an injection, could I have been having a bad reaction to the injection rather than having a TB response? Is that possible?

An interesting thing is that when I was pregnant my OB wanted me to take the antibiotics! She said it was no problem for the baby! I won the battle, but I had to see an infectious disease specialist. She ALSO wanted me to have CHEST X-RAYS, which I *almost* did! The x-ray tech is the one that stopped me. Holy cow.
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#5 of 8 Old 12-27-2005, 05:26 AM
 
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There is also a sputum test in which all you do is spit in a cup.

The test results will be in within three months.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#6 of 8 Old 12-27-2005, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I will have to ask my licencing dept. about alternatives to the skin test if it becomes an issue. Maybe allow 3 mths in advance in case the spit test is an option.

On the apparrent positive TB test, I seriously doubt you had/have TB. Started coughing yet? Seriously, that test has many false positives, including the one I had and the one my mom had (in her case, she took the meds and got an x-ray and it turned out for nothing. I didn't because the person interpreting my test decided it wasn't really positive)

The way I understand it, this test looks for antibodies/an immune reaction to TB, so a positive reaction, even a true one, only means you have been, at some time, exposed to TB and developed antibodies to it. (which, in the case of most infectious illnesses, indicates that you DON'T have it/are immune to it!)

Of course, you could have a current case as well and show that reaction.

The new test is, apparently, far and away superior as far as both avoiding invasive diagnostics and treatments and in terms of being more accurate and sensitive.
Nice to see some good news coming out of the world of medicine for a change!

Lilith
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#7 of 8 Old 12-27-2005, 04:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applejuice
There is also a sputum test in which all you do is spit in a cup. The test results will be in within three months.
Well, it is harder than just spitting. You have to hack up some mucous from your lungs, which can be very hard if you are not sick. But I managed to get enough up for them to test. The test takes 6 weeks, and you should allow another week or two for result reporting.

I'm looking forward to the new blood test becoming more available. Much faster than the sputum test, and in my opinion, it would be easier!
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#8 of 8 Old 12-27-2005, 04:53 PM
 
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Yeah, you have to hack up a big looguie! Not real easy unless you have some congestion. I prefer it to being poked with questionable ingredients.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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