According to a study published in the December issue of TheJournal of Clinical Microbiology, Gen-Probe Inc.'s AmplifiedMycobacterium Tuberculosis Direct Test (MTD) is moresensitive and specific than polymerase chain reaction (PCR) indetecting the presence or absence of Mycobacteriumtuberculosis.

The test, conducted on 135 specimens taken from patients atFukujuji Hospital in Japan, compared the MTD test with PCRand with culture, the method of TB detection that, while slow,is considered most accurate.

The study found that the MTD test had a sensitivity of 91.9percent while PCR had a sensitivity of 84.2 percent. Both testsexhibited a specificity of 100 percent in identifying M.tuberculosis.

While PCR detects DNA, the MTD test detects ribosomal RNA,which Gen-Probe of San Diego said is present in largerquantities in a TB specimen. --Karl Thiel

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