ARREST-TB: Accurate, rapid, robust and economic diagnostic technologies for tuberculosis
The Spanish technology-based company Genetic Analysis Strategies SL, through its GPS™ brand, participates in the European project “ARREST-TB: Accurate, rapid, robust and economic diagnostic technologies for tuberculosis“. The project brings together a consortium of academics from the University of Edinburgh, the Heriot Watt University, the University of Padua, together with the companies DestiNA Genómica and Optoi. The development of new technologies for the diagnosis of tuberculosis is projected to be evaluated in countries with a high prevalence for this infection, in close collaboration with the Central Institute of Tuberculosis Research, (Moscow, Russia), the National Institute for Tuberculosis Research (Chennai, India) and ShanMukha Innovations Pvt. Ltd.
Tuberculosis, a disease caused by bacteria of the species Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is a global threat to public health responsible of 1.3 million lives in 2016 and being the ninth leading cause of mortality in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has designed a route plan to follow with the aim of motivating collaborations that lead to the development of new diagnostic methods, allowing an improvement in the monitoring of patients. Tuberculosis, moreover, is not left out of the global growth of resistance to multiple antibiotics that has been detected in many pathogens. The rapid spread of these resistances is compromising the efficacy of antibiotics, including those of last resort. According to Dr Antonio Martinez-Murcia, professor at the Miguel Hernández University and director of GPS™, “as a result, drug resistance is considered to be the most accurate and imminent threat to the population”.
The objective of the ARREST-TB project is the development of molecular probes and optical devices that enable effective action in the rapid diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis as well as the presence of its resistance to antibiotics. The development of trials that allow monitoring patients under treatment against tuberculosis and determine its evolution will be addressed.