A pilot study at a hospital in India has found that genomic testing of patients thought to have tuberculosis provides results more quickly, the Times of India reports.
Typically, it says that patients are first tested via PCR analysis to determine within a few hours whether they have tuberculosis and whether that sample is susceptible or resistant to standard treatments. But if the sample is resistant, it is sent off for culture analysis to determine which exactly which drugs it is resistant to. That testing, the Times of India notes, can take weeks.
It reports, though, that the JJ Hospital in Mumbai has conducted a pilot study of 100 patients to ascertain whether using genomics could speed the process up. "But whole genome testing eliminates this time lag. Results for all the 12 drugs are available within a few days and the patient can be put on the right personalized treatment right away," Anirvan Chatterjee, a postdoctoral fellow at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, whose startup Haystack Analytics analyzed the data, said.
The Times of India adds that the pilot study data is also being analyzed to better understand drug resistance patterns in the region.