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Patents of MU Scientists Allow Physicians to Diagnose Insidious Diseases on Time

The diagnostic kit based on the patent of the scientists from the Faculty of Medicine, allows physicians to diagnose pulmonary diseases caused by the Aspergillus fungus on time. These diseases are caused by mould spores which a healthy organism can easily cope with. However, it can have extremely serious consequences for patients with weakened immune system, e.g. after being treated for leukaemia.  The testing kit has been launched onto the market by the Generi Biotech Company, which bought the right to use the patent from MU.

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Pulmonary Aspergillosis is a disease, which does not have any special symptoms and manifests itself as common pneumonia. "Up till now, it was necessary to diagnose it by administering pulmonary (Bronchoalveolar) lavage using physiological saline and then wait for the mould to cultivate. This, however, often took several days, even weeks and in the meantime the mould was spreading in patient's lungs as well," says Martina Lengerová from the Faculty of Medicine of MU. Because of the disadvantages of the original diagnostic method, scientists decided to develop a new method which would allow them to use the saline obtained by pulmonary lavage to detect not the mould as such but only its DNA.

"We've proven that it is much more effective to detect the DNA of the four most common causal agents of Aspergillosis than to wait for the mould to cultivate in a dish. Moreover, many patients are being preventively medicated by drugs that slow down the growth of the mould," explains Ms. Lengerová.

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Generi Biotech also introduced onto the market a testing kit for making prognoses of chronic lymphatic leukaemia by means of molecular genetic analysis of specific genes in a biological sample taken from the patient. Thanks to this kit, physicians are able to assess the seriousness of the oncological disease and choose the correct treatment. This kit has been also developed using a discovery patented by the same scientific team of experts from the Center of Molecular Biology and Gene Therapy at the Clinic of Internal Medicine – Hematology and Oncology of the University Hospital Brno and the Faculty of Medicine of MU.