Test for sleeping sickness developed and manufactured by ITM
A prominent tool for detection
Early detection is key to combat trypanosomiasis. The CATT, a test developed by ITM at the end of the 1970s, makes this a possibility. It was the incentive of parasitologist Nestor Van Meirvenne that contributed to the procedure, and the CATT grew to become the (only usable) field test for detecting sleeping sickness on a large scale in West and Central Africa. Because the production process is laborious and not commercially viable, the pharmaceutical sector has little to no interest in manufacturing the test. To this day, ITM develops it itself, having supplied various organisations with many millions of test kits.
Our commitment is never-ending
ITM has never abandoned sleeping sickness. Researchers such as Marleen Boelaert, Epco Hasker and Philippe Büscher are working with local and international partners to eliminate trypanosomiasis in the DRC. They are supported by the Federal Government of Belgium and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In May, 2014, ITM made an important contribution by developing a fast 15-minute test for detecting the illness in first-line treatment.
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