According to an estimate by World Health Organization (WHO), every year around 10.4 million people are infected with Tuberculosis (TB) and out of these, 1.7 million deaths are reported. WHO aims to end TB by reducing TB morbidity by 90% and mortality by 95%, but current diagnostic methods hinder the progress and are not sufficient to tackle this enigma. One of the prime reasons is the high cost, time consuming and laborious nature of the traditional diagnostic methods. These limitations along with the need of a skilled personnel hinders the robustness, portability and accurateness of tests.
In November 2018, a hand held device was developed; titled SpotTB by the team of ASAB under NHL. This device can be used for early and accurate detection of TB. The technology was licensed out to Pharmatec Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd. for commercial production.
SpotTB is a DNA based electrochemical sensor platform for detection of TB at an early stage from both sputum and purified DNA samples. This study aims to cater the need of a robust, accurate and portable TB diagnostic, which is economically feasible to screen population and find our missed active TB cases to treat them properly. The technology will be a portable and easy to use device. The local manufacturing of portable sensors for TB will impact imports and can also be exported to international markets as well.