WHO urges immediate halt to blood tests for TB

July 20, 2011 13:05


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GENEVA - The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday called for an immediate halt to the use of blood tests for detection of active tuberculosis, saying they are faulty and leave the lives of millions of people at risk.

Production of the test kits is largely in the hands of Western companies which export them to developing countries because they do not pass regulatory standards in developed nations, WHO officials said.

In year-long studies, the UN agency said, "overwhelming evidence showed that the blood tests produced an unacceptable level of wrong results." Therefore, "they put patients' lives in danger," said WHO TB prevention chief Mario Raviglione.

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