Mayo Clinic adds diagnostic exam to better understand TB test results

Mayo Medical Laboratories is adding a new tuberculosis test that will help physicians better determine the kind of TB afflicting patients.

Mayo licensed the diagnostic test from Germany’s Qiagen, a provider of sample and assay technologies. The license expands on what’s currently available in terms of TB testing from Mayo. Currently, tests are done using a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved method, which allows physicians to determine whether the patient is infected with mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that most commonly causes TB.

The technology Mayo Medical Laboratories acquired will get more specific on which “species” is causing the patient’s disease: M. tuberculosis,M. bovis, orM. bovis BCG, stated Nancy Wengenack, director of the Mycobacteriology Laboratory in Mayo Clinic’s department of laboratory medicine and pathology.

Mayo Medical Laboratories serves as a testing facility for Mayo as well as thousands of other hospitals, which generates revenue for Mayo Clinic.

Since 1993, the rate of TB has been falling in the U.S. But it continues to be one of the world’s deadliest diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One-third of the global population is infected with the disease.

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