Maryland residents may not realize that tuberculosis is still a risk for many in the United States and around the world. In fact, the disease kills more than 1.5 million people every single year and it is estimated that one-third of the world’s population is infected. However, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have developed a blood test that could diagnose the disease more accurately than traditional skin prick tests.
The problem with the skin prick test and other blood tests is that they cannot distinguish patients that actively have the disease from those who have since recovered. Although doctors can look at a patient’s sputum, or a mixture of mucus and saliva, but this can be difficult for the patients to produce when needed. The new test, called the Khatri blood test, looks for a gene expression “signature” that can distinguish patients who currently have active tuberculosis from those who have latent tuberculosis.
The Khatri test has other advantages. The test can identify and diagnose multiple strains. It can be used to identify the disease in those who have HIV and will not give a positive result in those who have latent tuberculosis or those who have been vaccinated.
When a doctor fails to properly diagnose a patient, that patient may end up with a worsened medical condition. An attorney may help the patient file a medical malpractice lawsuit for the failure to diagnose in the event that it can be demonstrated that such failure rose to the level of professional negligence. Compensation could be sought for medical expenses and other applicable losses.