It is for the second time that 15-year-old Class X student Reshma (name changed) of Dhule has once again been detected with TB. She is worried she may not be able to appear for her final exams. She had the infection when she was just 14 months old. Doctors fear the latest infection could be a Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) one. Samples will be sent to the Pune Intermediate Reference Laboratory where for the first time a cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification test (CBNAAT),also called GeneXpert,is being installed.
This test can detect MDR-TB cases in two hours and the results will be sent to doctors so that immediate intervention for patients could be planned,said Dr H H Chavan,state TB officer. The Intermediate Reference Laboratory is in Aundh and it conducts molecular line probe assay tests that detects MDR-TB cases in 3-5 days. Apart from the Aundh lab,the GeneXpert will also be set up at Aurangabad Medical College and in Mumbai at Kurla,Kandivali and Shivdi.
The lack of diagnostic tools had so far hampered immediate treatement for TB. MDR-TB becomes increasingly resistant to two of the major anti-TB drugs,isoniazide and rifamipicin. It needs to be traeated with different antibiotics.
From 2008 to August 2013,8,129 cases of MDR-TB have been detected,of which 3,854 are from Mumbai. Of the 88 Extremely drug resistant (XDR-TB),a dangerous form of TB,71 cases are from Mumbai.
In Pune,of the 2,467 TB cases,112 are being treated for MDR-TB,said Dr N D Thakur,City Tuberculosis Officer. According to Pimpri Chinchwad Tuberculosis Officer Dr Balasaheb Hodgar,109 patients are being treated for MDR-TB. Since GeneXpert test was only available in a few centres,including B J Medical College,the Central TB division has made provisions to set up test facilities at 40 places,including five in Maharashtra.
A team of National Reference Laboratory of the National Tuberculosis Institute,Bangalore,inspected the GeneXpert test machine. The CB NAAT will be loaded on the GeneXpert machine and results will be given in two hours.
Peronnel are being trained to use the equipment and the machine will soon be installed,Chavan said.
The Aundh Reference Laboratory daily receives 100 samples for diagnosing MDR-TB. There are 24 districts attached to the laboratory and samples are referred from here,Chavan said.