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Indigenous TB Diagnostic Tool

  • 15 Jan 2020
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has endorsed TrueNat which is an indigenous molecular diagnostic tool for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis.

Key Points

  • WHO’s approval is important for India because it has the most number of TB patients in the world.
  • According to the Global Tuberculosis Report 2019, India had 26.9 lakh TB patients in 2018.
  • According to the National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination 2017-2025, TB kills an estimated 4,80,000 Indians every year and over 1,400 every day.
  • India also has over a million ‘missing’ cases every year that are not notified. Most of the cases remain either undiagnosed or inadequately diagnosed and treated in the private sector.


  • It was developed by Goa-based Molbio Diagnostics.
  • TrueNat is a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based test that, by assaying the genes present in the TB bacteria, can not only detect the presence of the bacteria but can also detect drug resistance with the use of chips.
  • The DNA of the TB bacteria is extracted from the sputum samples collected from the patient and the test can easily and cost-effectively be done in the primary health care setup.
  • It was found to be comparable in accuracy to similar tests currently in use and has been recommended as a replacement for sputum microscopy tests.
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