WHO Includes an Indian Diagnostic Test in Its Global TB Programme, Tuberculosis

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World Health Organization՚s (WHO) has included an Indian molecular assay for initial test in its Global Tuberculosis Programme. This will help in detecting the disease and for identifying resistant strains of the tuberculosis (TB) bacteria.

Funding Gaps Global Tuberculosis
On the Decline Global Tuberculosis Deaths


  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has been trying to promote indigenous technologies to diagnose TB, including multi-drug- and extensively drug-resistant (MDR/XDR) TB.
  • Scientists have conducted experiments then shortlisted the most promising kits.
  • They also conducted double blind validation in comparison to standard tests at their four national reference laboratories.
  • Thereby the TrueNat9 (a new molecular test that can diagnose TB) assay was found to be internationally recognized molecular assay Gene-Xpert.
  • WHO included True Nat as test to diagnose TB and replaced previous sputum smear microscopy to detect rifampicin resistance.
  • The True Nat assay kit is affordable.
  • These can be used in peripheral centers without air-conditioned laboratories.
  • It also runs on battery which can either be electric or solar powered.
  • Even National TB Elimination Programme has started using True Nat.


  • It is caused by the bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs.
  • It is curable and preventable.
  • The highest burden of TB in 2018 is in 8 countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa.
  • It spreads through the air when the person gets affected from TB infection cough, sneeze.
  • One third of the world՚s population is thought to be infected with M. tuberculosis.

Global TB Targets

  • Sustainable developmental goal 3.3 includes a target of ending the TB epidemic by 2030.
  • The World Health Assembly-approved Global TB Strategy aims to reduce 90 per cent TB deaths.
  • 80 % reduction in the TB incidence rate by 2030 compared with 2015 levels.
  • The Strategy established milestones for 2020 of a 35 % reduction in TB deaths.
  • There has been 20 % reduction in the TB incidence rate from 2015 levels.

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