Tuberculosis is India's biggest health issue, but the phenomenon of TDR-TB (Totally Drug Resistant Tuberculosis) makes it worse. TDR-TB is the most dangerous form. Delay in the diagnosis and initiation of treatment can increase the spread of TB. Detection of MDR-TB (Multi-Drug Resistant TB) took a backseat due to the shortage of testing kits. In 2013, a team of largest diagnostic labs joined hands and created a network called Improving Access to Affordable and Quality TB Tests (IPAQT).An expensive but vital rapid GeneXpert Test.
GeneXpert Test - This is a new molecular test for TB which diagnoses the disease by detecting the presence of TB bacteria as well as testing for resistance. The test detects the DNA in TB bacteria. it uses a sputum sample and can give the results in less than 2 hours. BMC has set up GeneXpert machine in Lokmanya Tilak Hospital. Earlier it was quite difficult to diagnose the TB bacteria, as it would take 8-10 hrs but with GeneXpert the problem has been solved to the core. Other tests take up to three weeks to detect drug resistance, stated Suleiman Merchant, Dean Lokmanya Tilak Medical College.