US researchers have demonstrated that a diagnostic test developed by NanoLogix is able to detect tuberculosis much quicker than traditional methods.

The BioNanoPore (BNP) Ultra-Fast Identification Technology can recognise live TB cultures in five days, as opposed to two or more weeks with other diagnostic tests, scientists at the Biomedical Research Center in Ohio said in the Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology.

The authors, led by James Rogers and Young Choi conclude; "The results of the present study demonstrate a proof-of-principal for BNP Middlebrook in detecting TB compared to the Middlebrook 7H10 reference test and should be considered as an ideal candidate for future evaluation of clinical samples."

Current rapid detection methods using molecular diagnostic technology (PCR) are unable to differentiate between live actual infection and the presence of dead bacteria in immune patients, NanoLogix said.

PCR also requires culture positivity, a process which can take three to four weeks to complete.

NanoLogix CEO Bret Barnhizer said the potential for BNP technology is vast; "We see this technology as potentially providing both a standalone method for determining the presence of an actual TB infection and also a complementary method that can be used with either our BioNanoFilter technology or molecular diagnostics methods for initial TB screening.

"We hope that our BNP rapid culture results will make it possible to finally monitor antibiotic treatment for TB in a close-to-real-time manner that is currently unavailable to practitioners."

Image: Chest X-ray of a person with advanced tuberculosis.