UK researchers have developed a new test to diagnose TB and picked up a £10,000 award to progress the idea further.

The overall winner of this year’s

Medical Futures Innovation Awards

was Dr. David Moore, a Senior Lecturer in Infectious Diseases from

Imperial College




Dr. Moore and his colleagues, have developed a new test to diagnose active TB - and his £10,000 award, picked up at last month’s ceremony in Old Billingsgate in London, will be used to progress the idea further.

Moore’s new test, Microscopic Observation Drug Susceptibility (MODS) relies on the characteristic growth pattern of Mycobacterium TB grown in a special liquid media and viewed using an inverted light microscope. Using this technique the bacteria can be identified in days, unlike traditional culture methods which can take up to six weeks.

The judges, who are the UK’s leading think-tank on healthcare innovation, chaired by Professor Sally Davies, Director of Research & Development at the Department of Health, chose Dr Moore’s submission, because of its simplicity and huge potential to have a global impact.

While the new test could provide poor developing countries with a rapid, inexpensive detection of TB., it could also help reduce the 350 needless deaths in England from TB (where TB has increased by 25% over the last 10 years).