Sunday 2, April 2023

DU flourishes new method to detect black fever

Time Digital Report: A group of researchers at Dhaka University have flourished a new molecular diagnostic method to detect black fever.

The researchers developed the fast and effective method under the leadership of DU microbiology department professor Muhammad Manjurul Karim using urine samples instead of bone marrow, spleen aspirate or liver biopsy, which are traditionally used in the detection of the disease.

Professor Muhammad Manjurul Karim made the information public in a press conference at Professor Abdul Matin Chowdhury Virtual Classroom of Dhaka University with the university vice-chancellor professor Md Akhtaruzzaman in the chair on Monday.

‘Peviously, this disease was diagnosed by immunochromatographic examination of blood and tissue examination of bone-marrow, liver, spleen, and lymph nodes using a microscope that involved a risk of severe bleeding,’ said professor Manjurul Karim.

He, however, said that the newly developed molecular diagnostic method (Molecular Diagnostics, MDX) based on real time PCR was a patient-friendly method for the detection of black fever in a completely accurate and perfect manner.

‘The use of this method will take Bangladesh a step closer to black fever elimination, which is one of the goals of the World Health Organisation’s 2030 NTD Road Map for the elimination of neglected tropical diseases by 2030,’ hoped the researcher.

‘The remarkable sensitivity and specificity achieved by this method using urine samples can replace the blood or more complex samples such as bone marrow or spleen sample-based methods for black fever diagnosis.’

Furthermore, compared to conventional PCR and nested PCR-based techniques, the real-time-PCR is capable of detecting disease with greater accuracy and certainty in one step which will reduce the workload for pathologists, said the academic.

This method can also be used to assess patient and microbe response to treatment, movement of parasites in the body of an infected person, and their transmission in the environment and monitoring of epidemiological surveys, he added.

Professor Manjurul Karim expressed hope that this research would have a significant impact on the elimination of black fever in the country and outside the country.


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