World TB Day 2020
#ItsTimeToEndTB: Diagnostics are critical in infectious disease control
Written by Dr Sean Parsons, CEO Ellume.
As the world rallies to curb the spread of COVID-19, this year’s World Tuberculosis Day serves as a stark reminder that the two major biological threats to humans are pandemic viruses (like COVID-19) and tuberculosis (TB) – especially multi-drug resistant TB.
We at Ellume are doing our part in responding to COVID-19 (major announcements to come shortly), but when the COVID threat has eventually passed, we must not forget that we must continue the fight against TB.
On this day 118 years ago, Dr Robert Koch successfully identified the bacteria responsible for causing TB, paving the way for the prevention and control of this deadly disease. It was an important breakthrough in combating a disease that was once one of the most urgent health problems facing the world. Yet a century later with a death rate of 1.5 million people every year, more people will die today from TB than COVID-19.
We all now appreciate that diagnostics are crucial in responding to pandemic viruses, but they are also the key for responding to TB.
At Ellume, our diagnostics platform means we haven an important role to play in the fight against these common infectious diseases. By combining our technology with QIAGEN’s market leading test we have created QuantiFERON® TB Access, an accurate, rapid diagnostic designed for use in moderate and high burden countries. It has the ability to diagnose cases with greater speed and accuracy and overcome the limitations of a lack of infrastructure and shortage of trained technicians. The product can perform up to eight non-invasive tests simultaneously without computer access or a continuous power supply. Together with QIAGEN we are striving to make QuantiFERON® TB Access available later this year.
While we have a long way to go until TB is eradicated, we’re proud that our technology holds the key to bringing faster and more accurate diagnostics to the people who need it most.