A major problem with many of the current diagnostics is they use the host immune response to diagnose infection. A key feature of mycobacteria is their ability to avoid the host’s immune system, resulting in inconsistent detection of infected individuals.
The alternative, gold-standard, diagnostic is culture, but this is also difficult as M. tuberculosis can take up to 12 weeks to culture.
So, a rapid, sensitive, alternative approach is required to understand, control and eradicate TB.
Actiphage uses a bacteriophage (literally: ‘bacteria eater’), a virus that is specific to a particular bacterium. The phage destroys the host cell, releasing its DNA, which can then be used as a target for detection and identification within hours.
Simple yes/no answer
The Actiphage assay combines phage technology (to detect only living bacteria) with traditional qPCR (which is extremely sensitive and specific for target DNA sequences) to create a new, highly sensitive and specific diagnostic assay that detects only live, disease-causing bacteria.
It provides a simple yes/no answer – removing the confusion caused by current testing methods.
Identifies a range of mycobacterial disease
Actiphage uses PCR primers to identify signature sequences known to be present in the genome of the bacteria. These sequences differ between the strains of the mycobacteria so the Actiphage test can be used to provide a number of mycobacterial tests.