Detecting Tuberculosis

A TB detection rat can check 100 sputum samples for TB in as little as 20 minutes. This would typically take a lab technician up to 4 days using conventional microscopy

APOPO's Detection Rats can quickly test human sputum samples for TB. Any suspect samples are then re-checked using WHO endorsed confirmation tests.

Why tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is now the biggest global killer from an infectious disease. There are approximately 10 million new global cases of tuberculosis per year and around 1.6 million people die from the disease. In most sub-Saharan African countries only about half of the patients with active tuberculosis are diagnosed. 

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Stories: Claudi

Six year old Claudi was very sick. His local clinic didn't know why. Read how APOPO identified his TB.

Claudi's story

How we're detecting tuberculosis

APOPO researches detection rats as a “failsafe” - examining clinic tested human sputum samples delivered from partner clinics in Tanzania and Mozambique. Any rat-suspect samples are rechecked using WHO endorsed methods and if TB is confirmed, APOPO notifies the clinic.

Our research indicates that APOPO could be improving clinic detection rates by up to 40%.

How it works

TB Detection research - where we work

APOPO works within government health systems. APOPO's TB research programs aim to support national DOTS centers in their fight against tuberculosis.

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