A new simple to use test for TB could reduce death rate by almost 20%

According to Statistics South Africa, TB is the most common cause of death in South Africa. Tuberculosis and HIV-related illnesses were the two leading causes of death among young people in 2013.

A research team led by Prof Keertan Dheda of the University of Cape Town has come up with a simple to use TB test using a low-cost urine sample at the bedside of HIV patients. It works for those who are both able and unable to produce sputum. This urine lipoarabinomannan or LAM test, enables a diagnosis in approximately 20 minutes.

The study showed that TB treatment can be started much more quickly than if diagnosed using current diagnostic tools. It also showed that the TB death rate in hospitals could be reduced by almost 20%, when the LAM test is used to guide treatment.

The special thing about this test is it really serves a very niche population, for it is not suitable for anyone with TB, it only works well in people with advanced HIV that have TB.

Prof Keertan Dheda, Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Head of the Lung Infection and Immunity Unit at UCT

So it is in this particularly vulnerable group were death rates are very high that this particular urine test is useful

Prof Keertan Dheda, Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Head of the Lung Infection and Immunity Unit at UCT

There are a lot of encouraging things that have happened… there are new vaccines that are tried and developed for TB. We had two new TB drugs that have been registered for the first time after almost 40 years and one of those drugs is available in South Africa.

Prof Keertan Dheda, Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Head of the Lung Infection and Immunity Unit at UCT
Read More
Enviro expert raises red flag with City's ground water extraction plan

Enviro expert raises red flag with City's ground water extraction plan

The City is trying new ways to access an additional 500 million litres of water per day as it can no longer rely on rainfall.

Hanekom: ANC must be clear on its definition of 'ill-discipline'

Hanekom: ANC must be clear on its definition of 'ill-discipline'

ANC MP and former minister Derek Hanekom reflected on the state of the governing party and the 34th anniversary of the UDF.

[Watch] John Maytham shuts down victim shamer on air

[Watch] John Maytham shuts down victim shamer on air

A caller wanted to know what the alleged victim had done in order for Grace Mugabe to assault her.

Afriforum's Gerrie Nel gives the NPA three months to prosecute Grace Mugabe

Afriforum's Gerrie Nel gives the NPA three months to prosecute Grace Mugabe

AfriForum and its independent prosecution unit will be getting involved in the case of alleged assault of Gabriella Engels.

City of Cape turns to groundwater to try curb its water crisis

City of Cape turns to groundwater to try curb its water crisis

Four areas identified for ground water extraction namely; Silwerstroomstrand, Cape Flats, Cape Peninsula and Hottentots Holland.

The sungazer lizard is under threat of extinction

The sungazer lizard is under threat of extinction

Shivan Parusnath, PhD student at Wits University says the lizards are under threat because there are far too many people.

Popular articles
CoCT 'Water Resilience Plan' to produce 500 million litres of water per day

CoCT 'Water Resilience Plan' to produce 500 million litres of water per day

City of Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille held a media briefing to share the City’s 'Water Resilience Plan' on Thursday.

"I bumped into Anoj Singh and Eskom's Prish Govender at the Hyde Park Hotel"

"I bumped into Anoj Singh and Eskom's Prish Govender at the Hyde Park Hotel"

Sikhonathi Mantshantsha says surely as Anoj Singh is on suspension, he should not be talking to Eskom employees.

Journos walk out of Bathabile Dlamini's briefing after 2 hour wait

Journos walk out of Bathabile Dlamini's briefing after 2 hour wait

EWN's Gia Nicolaides says journalists walked out of the media briefing on social grants after waiting for hours for her to arrive.

Grace Mugabe used normal passport and can't enjoy diplomatic immunity

Grace Mugabe used normal passport and can't enjoy diplomatic immunity

Shadow Minister of International Relations says Mugabe's case should not be debated any further as she can't enjoy any privileges.

Snow turns parts of SA into winter wonderland

Snow turns parts of SA into winter wonderland

Parts of the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape are covered in snow as a strong cold front sweeps SA.

Grace Mugabe invokes diplomatic immunity as Zim-SA relations get tense

Grace Mugabe invokes diplomatic immunity as Zim-SA relations get tense

Grace is still in South Africa and her husband, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, is due to land in the country this afternoon.