The diagnosis of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) will become simpler in the days to come. The city is set to acquire state-of-the-art technology, already available at Aundh Chest Hospital, for its medical institutes that will help detect MDR-TB in two hours.

While the technique that is currently being used most extensively requires 5 days for diagnoses, older methods used to take 1.5 months to 3 months. By incorporating the new technology, the state health department is aiming for fast diagnosis of MDR-TB and less mortality. Pune is the only centre for the diagnosis of MDR-TB in adjacent districts, apart from Mumbai and Aurangabad.

State will be getting such 5 machines under the central and one from that will be in Chest hospital in Aundh. “The GenXpert machine is the new technology and this will help in fast diagnosis of MDR-TB. Many deaths in MDR-TB are due to the late diagnosis and treatment.

The technology is one part and the reluctance for the treatment due to the unawareness from patients is another behind increasing number of deaths due to the MDR-TB. The results will be available in two hours so there will be fast diagnosis of the cases,” Dr H H Chavan, assistant director (TB), state health department.

The line probe assay (LPA) system is currently being used at B J Medical College, which is handling thousands of samples from Pune and nearby districts. “The LPA technique takes about 5 days and other older processes like liquid culture and solid culture method take 1.5 months to 3 months,” Dr Chavan added.

Commenting on the functioning of the new machinery, Chavan said, “The machine has been installed and will soon start functioning. It will take more time in some other states. Maharashtra is ahead in the race towards implementation of this technology.”

No of MDR-TB patients that have been detected in Pune (rural) area