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UC Davis, Pakistani University Win $400K Grant to Develop xMap-Based TB Dx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — The University of California at Davis has received a two-year, $400,000 grant from the US Agency for International Development that it will use alongside Pakistani researchers to develop a tuberculosis diagnostic, UC Davis said Monday.
The test, which is being developed using Luminex’s xMap technology, will use sets of microspheres that are coated with antigens specific to antibodies created by tuberculosis patients. Physicians will then be able to identify which antibody/antigen reactions have occurred.
Paul Luciw, a UC Davis microbiologist with the Center for Comparative Medicine, said the test will be designed to detect an infection at its earliest stages and identify those individuals who are infected but do not yet show signs of active disease.  
The school plans to develop a multiplex test that allows researchers to simultaneously test a dozen or more antibodies in a single blood sample from a patient.
The US investigators will work with a representative from the University of Arid Agriculture in Rawalpindi in Pakistan.
Pakistan currently accounts for around 44 percent of the tuberculosis burden in the eastern Mediterranean, the school said.

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