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TB blood cultures from around the world help combat deadliest infectious disease

October 11, 2018

Laptop. Contact, and stethoscope sitting at

October Specimen Spotlight

Tuberculosis killed 1.6 million people last year and 10 million people fell ill with the condition.

Incidence of the world’s deadliest infectious disease varies widely by geography. There were fewer than 10 new cases per 100,000 in most high-income countries in 2017 – yet more than 500 per 100,000 in the hardest hit countries, including Mozambique, the Philippines and South Africa.

iSpecimen client tackles TB diagnosis

Under-diagnosis is a critical part of the problem. We are playing a small role in TB diagnosis by aggressively supporting one of our global clients that is working on developing new TB diagnostic tools.

To perform this important work, our client needed blood samples from two sets of patients – those at low risk for TB and those deemed to be at mixed risk. There were detailed inclusion/exclusion criteria for both groups, adding further complexity to the human biospecimen collection task.

Because of the geographical risk variation, iSpecimen collected low-risk samples from the United States (the client needed 400 samples), and 200 qualifying mixed-risk samples from sites in Columbia and Ukraine. Cultures were performed on the samples at collection time; samples and results data were then shipped to our client.

Overcoming biospecimen procurement challenges of specificity and scale

This project exemplifies the increasing level of biospecimen specificity that researchers require as medicine progresses. In decades past, researchers were more likely to be satisfied with standard blood samples taken from a more general population.

Similarly, our custom prospective procurement process illustrates the value of the vast provider network that we have developed. We have dedicated an immense amount of work to developing firsthand relationships with our providers, including hospitals, biorepositories, practice groups, commercial laboratories, HIEs, and other healthcare organizations around the world. Clients save time and money by accessing our provider network to procure richly annotated, de-identified biospecimens with ease and confidence resulting from rigorous compliance processes and documentation.

Clients can also be confident that when iSpecimen’s partners collect specimens from patients specifically for research, each patient is properly consented, and the collection follows relevant IRB protocols. The net effect is that all biospecimens collected specifically for research purposes are shipped by our partners under an approved IRB protocol with full informed consent.

If you need biospecimens to advance your work, you can gain immediate access to more than 25 million biospecimens on the iSpecimen Marketplace. Login is simple and free. Thanks to advanced search capabilities, you’re able to perform highly detailed searches in pursuit of exact specimen matches. While there, you can also inquire about a custom specimen collection if needed.

Finally, if you’re working to save lives in any way, as our client in this Specimen Spotlight is, thank you.

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