Tuberculosis, a highly infectious respiratory disease

Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis which can be transmitted through the air. When an infected individual coughs or sneezes, infectious particles containing M. tuberculosis bacteria are released into the air with the potential to infect anyone breathing nearby. While Mycobacterium tuberculosis can be slow to proliferate compared to other bacteria, it is very well adapted to attacking immune cells and leads to weaker and slower inflammatory response.

Tuberculosis, one of the top 10 causes of death

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 10 million tuberculosis patients occurred worldwide in 2019, and about 1.4 million people died. Globally, the incidence of tuberculosis is decreasing by 2% every year and the mortality rate is decreasing by 3% every year, but tuberculosis is still one of the top 10 major causes of death worldwide.


people fell ill with TB in 2019


people died of TB in 2019


people fell ill with drug-resistant TB in 2019

Reference: Global Tuberculosis Report (WHO)

Limitations of conventional drug susceptibility testing for tuberculosis

Conventional drug susceptibility testing for tuberculosis examine the proliferation of the bacteria via inoculation and incubation in growth media containing antibiotic agents.

Drug susceptibility testing for tuberculosis using solid media can take 4 to 6 weeks, while tests with liquid culture can be done within 2 weeks. Though faster, liquid culture is challenging as determining the initial bacteria inoculation concentration can be difficult in addition to other limitations such the requirements of having each drug dispensed directly by the user, high contamination rate, and limited number of drugs.

Recognizing the growing threat of drug-resistant TB to eliminating tuberculosis, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all national tuberculosis management systems include the identification and tailored treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Hence, there is an acute need for faster, more reliable, and accurate drug susceptibility testing for TB.

QDSTTM, a rapid drug susceptibility test for tuberculosis

QDST (QuantaMatrix Drug Susceptibility Testing) system employs an innovative concept for TB drug susceptibility testing system that is faster than conventional method. The system uses imaging-based microfluidic technology that enables direct and accurate determination of susceptibility testing results for a variety of TB drugs. The system can produce results in 7 days instead of the standard 4 to 6 weeks with conventional methods thus allowing for diagnosis and earlier, tailored treatment to improve TB treatment and patient management.