Brazilian Genomics Shaves Weeks of TB Detection

BRAZIL – Two breakthroughs have reduced tuberculosis testing waiting times on bovine samples from three months to two days.
calendar icon 16 December 2014
clock icon 1 minute read

A new polymerase chain reaction test and a means of “amplifying” DNA sequences has improved the way scientists think about Mycobacterium bovis isolates, the bacteria responsible for bovine tuberculosis.

Seventeen South American strains – 10 from Brazil and seven from Argentina – are now publicly available at the National Centre for Biotechnology Information in the US.

A new database system accompanies the methodology, used to focus gene research.

Resulting from collaborative research, the study has united the Brazilian Corporation of Agricultural Research (EMBRAPA), the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) and three universities.

“"These two technologies are used to quickly diagnose tuberculosis,” said Flabio Araujo, beef cattle researcher at EMBRAPA.”

“Among the current methodologies for diagnosis, the most used is the culture, which takes up to three months to submit a result.”

He added that the database was used to define disease existence. Genomic sequencing also ascertains why strains do and do not cause tuberculosis.

“Thus, we sequenced genomes of high and low virulence isolates, which are being compared,” he added.

Further Reading

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