Science Magazine’s Jon Cohen was in Durban recently, where he spoke to K-RITH Investigator, Dr Alex Pym, about the problem of detecting drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) in patients, and the Pym Lab’s work to try and solve this issue.
“We want to get people on the best treatment as quickly as possible, ” Dr Pym told Cohen. “The problem is, the tests we have available [in hospitals] at the moment take two to three months and are not very well developed. So for two or three months you have to treat patients with drugs which you don’t know are going to work or not. You may be treating them with five drugs that work, or five that don’t – and as a result of this patients can die, or develop further resistance.”
The Pym lab is ultimately working towards developing a rapid, comprehensive TB resistance test. The goal is that a patient should be able to get their results within a week or a few days, and immediately be put on the best treatment possible.
Watch the interview below.