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Tuberculosis is among the most frequent infectious diseases worldwide alongside malaria and HIV/AIDS. According to estimations of the WHO, there are 10 million new infections and 1.8 million deaths each year.
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC). This complex encompasses 8 different mycobacteria, of which 7 have been described to cause tuberculosis in humans and animals. Most of the cases are caused by M. tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis bacteria are transmitted primarily by inhalation of infectious droplets, which are emitted into the air as aerosols by patients with open pulmonary tuberculosis through coughing and speaking. Therefore, a primary infection in most cases leads to pulmonary tuberculosis. In rare cases, primary tuberculosis also affects other organs such as the skin or the digestive tract. Only 5 to 10% of the infected persons develop active tuberculosis; in immunocompetent persons, a large share of the infections is asymptomatic. Latent infections may persist over decades and be reactivated when the immune system is weakened.
Microbiological tuberculosis diagnostics are often challenging, especially in the initial stage. Therefore, it is particularly important to apply all available diagnostic methods if there is a suspicion of tuberculosis in order to recognise it, heal it, and break the reaction chain. Fast and sensitive direct detection of tuberculosis pathogen DNA in sputum, broncho-alveolar lavage fluid and bronchial secretion optimally supplements microscopy and time-intensive detection by culture (six-eight weeks).
The EURORealTime MTB test enables highly specific and reliable detection of MTBC by real-time PCR. The detection of a total of three MTBC-specific target regions ensures particularly sensitive diagnostics. Optionally, analysis of raw data, data interpretation, generation of result reports and electronic archiving of results, taking into account all internal and external controls, can be completely automated using the EURORealTime Analysis software. In this way, the data processing steps required for real-time PCR are significantly simplified and accelerated. The software also provides convenient guidance through the entire work procedure, thus preventing the occurrence of errors.