THORNWOOD, NY, June 10, 2008 – Today, one in three persons is infected with the tuberculosis pathogen, and the World Heath Organization (WHO) estimates that there will be 30 million deaths caused by tuberculosis in the next year, due to the development of multi-resistant strains and co-infection with HIV/AIDS.
The traditional technique of diagnosing tuberculosis involved the Ziehl-Neelsen stain, also known as the acid-fast stain. Robert Koch, famous for isolating tuberculosis bacillus (and winning the Nobel Prize for it), used an alkaline mixture of aniline dyes as his method of staining the bacteria. He presented his breathtaking discovery of the TB bacillus, made possible with microscopes from Carl Zeiss, in 1882. It was only after his discovery that it was possible to treat this fatal disease, which caused one in seven deaths in Europe and America at that time.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis seen by way of the Ziehl-Neelsen stain.
Today, with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), Carl Zeiss is invoking Robert Koch once again by developing a special microscope to further improve the diagnosis of tuberculosis.
The Primo Star iLED fluorescence microscope is four times faster with a ten percent improvement in sensitivity. The outstanding feature of the new microscope is its specially designed energy-saving LED illumination. FIND and Carl Zeiss will offer the Primo Star iLED at a reduced price to 24 developing countries define by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Compared to standard techniques, diagnosis with the Primo Star iLED special fluorescence microscope from Carl Zeiss is four times faster with a ten percent improvement in sensitivity.
“Our specific solution for the diagnosis of tuberculosis is part of our overall strategy to provide the global markets with LED-based fluorescence systems both for research and routine applications,” says Dr. Bernhard Ohnesorge, vice president and general manager of the BioSciences division at Carl Zeiss. “Of course, we are proud to be able to contribute to the global fight against tuberculosis.”
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