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Haiti - Technology : Clinical studies of a new tuberculosis diagnostic device
"It uses a revolutionary and patented technique of optical detection, a large improvement from current technologies where the identification requires longer waiting periods, declared Dr. Jorge E. González, President of CBT.
The system developed by CBT is capable of detecting and identifying bacteria and fungi spores in open environments or in patients with air-borne transmitted infectious diseases such as TB. It also has the potential to detect and identify viruses.
Tuberculosis remains as one of the deadliest diseases worldwide, impacting more than 10 million patients per year, with a mortality rate of 2 million per year according to the World Health Organization. A key element in its treatment is early identification of the disease, with current methods requiring days for an accurate diagnostic. CBT technology has the promise to provide detection of TB within seconds using non-invasive methods.
CBT uses a cutting-edge technology to sample the micro scale size of particles in the breathing systems of patients with symptoms. It also analyzes the specific optical response of the agent through a technique known as multi-photon fluorescence.
The combination of the optical response and the particle size allows determining not only if it is a biological particle, but exactly what it is.
"This innovative method has been configured in a portable instrument, and has been tested in patients without TB symptoms. The device will be capable of providing health workers with essential information on the infection status of individuals in seconds, saving lives, time and money," added Dr. González.
The study will be conducted in partnership with International Child Care's Grace Children's Hospital starting in the fall 2015 in patients presenting TB symptoms. Haiti has one of the highest rates of Tuberculosis in the American continent. The study is a major step in the global approval of the technology. CBT technology was developed with financial support of the Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico (EDB), the Puerto Rico Science Trust, and the National Science Foundation of the United States.
"It is a real honor to be a part of this important achievement, not only because of the success of Caribbean Biotechnologies, but also for the great accomplishment that this new technology represents for the healthcare industry worldwide. The Economic Development Bank supported this project since the beginning in 2008.To see it develop and know that they are on the correct path, ratifies that we did the right thing by investing in this new technology," concluded Joey Cancel Planas, President of the EDB.