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PCR Versus Tuberculosis
March 20, 2007 17:37

Russian scientists have come out with a new diagnostics technique, which allows elimination selection of hazardous bacteria, resistant to treating agents. Research fellows from Phthisiopulmonology science-and-research institute of Moscow Sechenov Medical Academy and “Syntol” research and development company have performed monitoring of medical resistance to tuberculosis in 25 Russian regions using real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology.

The problem of multiple drug resistance to various diseases including tuberculosis is one of the most serious problems facing medics of the world. Only in Russia tuberculosis causes about 30 thousand deaths every year. Traditional methods of defining medical resistance to tuberculosis, which are currently used all over our planet, offer an answer only after three months pass. It’s obvious that for said three months patients receive treatment, which has neither scientific nor medical background – doctors don’t know how this or that pharmaceutical affects patient’s health, which already is not in perfect condition. Moreover, such long-lasting diagnostics causes increase in medical resistance to tuberculosis and further expansion of bacterial strains, which are resistant to treating agents, because during “treating” bacterial strains with partial resistance to certain agents causes 100% medical resistance of said strains to pharmaceuticals at the end of therapy course. In other words, medics perform selection of bacterial strains that are totally resistant to pharmaceuticals.


 Real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology provides the answer to the question about medical resistance of given bacterial strain as quickly as within several hours. Said technology is base upon detecting fluorescence of analyzed material (a protein in this particular case), which changes in case of mutation in genes of bacterial cells.

The results of abovementioned monitoring Russian scientists performed by means of PCR-technology were reported during Fourth Moscow International Congress “Biotechnology: state of the art and prospects of development”. Russian think-tank has studied characteristics of over 2000 strains of Koch's bacillus (Mycobacterium tuberculosis), common for the Russian Federation. Scientists found out that 21.9% of new-onset patients and 58.5% of patients that previously received treatment are infected with bacterial strains demonstrating multiple drug resistance. Average number of patients with resistant strains varies depending on the region. Moscow and Volgograd showed the lowest number of patients with resistant tuberculosis forms – 6.6 and 7.2 per cent respectively. Average parameters were detected in the Central federal district (22.3%), North-West federal district (19%), and territories of Ural and Siberia (20.5%). Situation in South federal district is worse – 36% of newly-admitted patients are infected with polyresistant strains. The most upsetting results were detected in Yaroslavl and Irkutsk, where multiple drug resistance was found for 70% of tuberculosis patients.

Authors of said research emphasize that except Russian Federation such widely spread multiple drug resistance is common only for China, India and African countries. During said monitoring scientists have showed high efficiency and 100% reliability of real-time PCR technology as a method for detecting multiple drug resistance of tuberculosis microorganisms.

    Science & Life

Kizilova Anna

Tags: Russian Scientists Russian medicine    

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