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Partnership between Brazil and India creates a quick test for tuberculosis


Fiocruz Pernambuco


Two researchers of the Immunology Department of Fiocruz Pernambuco, Haiana Schindler and Lílian Montenegro, are in Mumbai, India, for scientific activities involving technology transfer as defined in the BRICS-Tuberculosis project. Schindler and Montenegro are, respectively, coordinator and vice-coordinator of the project. The invitation came from Indian scientist Vinay Saini, director of the TUMAAS Foundation & Startup and senior researcher of the Nanobios Lab, both with headquarters in Mumbai. Saini is also one of the collaborating researchers of the Immunology Department. During their trip to India, the scientists will be attending meetings to adapt diagnostic tests and to elaborate the prototype of a urine test to detect tuberculosis cases.

The project was one of six across Brazil to be approved and funded in the Call of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for Research on Tuberculosis within the BRICS

These actions are part of the Evaluation and clinical validation study of quick diagnostic tests point of care in regions with high rates of tuberculosis in Brazil and India. The project was one of six, from all over Brazil, to be approved and financed within the Call of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, in the acronym in Portuguese) for tuberculosis research under the BRICS context.

Schindler explained that the tuberculosis diagnostic test is being developed in India and is to be validated in Brazil. “This is a quick, easy test that only requires the urine of the patient with suspected tuberculosis. It works more or less like pregnancy tests: in just a few minutes the result is visible to the eye,” she celebrates. During the visit, the prototype was tested and its efficiency was approved.

On the other hand, Brazilian scientists of Fiocruz Pernambuco and of the Keizo Asami Institute of the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) are developing a biosensor to diagnose tuberculosis which will be validated in India and in Brazil. The two tests will then be compared and tested. “Developing and offering tests such as these is very important to countries where tuberculosis is a huge public health concern,” said Schindler.

The Brazilian researchers will remain in India until July 15, and then will travel to France for another round of work.

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