We propose a new detection method for a tuberculosis-specific protein, MPB64, obtained from active bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) by heating. When BCG was included in solution at a concentration >2.75 × 104 CFU/ml, our method for collecting MPB64 through heating active BCG combined with an immunochromatographic assay detected active bacilli within 2.5 h. By contrast, a culture test, which is the gold standard for tuberculosis diagnosis, does not provide results for between 1 week and 2 months. The rapid tests based on PCR have some drawbacks, for example they detect DNA from both active and latent (or even dead) tubercle bacilli. Therefore, our method may pave the way toward detecting only active tubercle bacilli at a reasonable cost and providing same-day diagnosis.
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